Nobility

Nobility is a lofty term, imbued with character only the honorable of heart will pursue. It is not a foreign term to religious circles, either; many historical characters willingly carried their faith with integrity, even to their death. Unfortunately, when it comes to religious belief, many are satisfied to simply say, “You believe your way and I’ll believe mine.” Such a position oozes weakness and contributes to ungodly divisions in faith (1 Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 4:4-6). Does such a religious position reflect a godly, Christian attitude?

When Paul began teaching the Bereans, the writer of Acts states: “These were more noble (fair-minded) than those in Thessalonica, in that they receive the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). Judging from the text, one could not successfully argue that the Bereans were mean, harsh or antagonistic toward Paul but interested in the truth of what Paul stated. This is an approved example of how to confront knowledge to which one has not previously been exposed. This is the attitude every potential Christian should have.

When someone disagrees with your particular religious belief, how do you respond? Do you become upset, angry, or frustrated, lashing out with defensive unchristian comments? Or, do you just ignore them and hope for a subject change to occur quickly in the conversation? What response are we looking for in a person with questions about faith? A child of God invite a nobility found in honest searching.

These Bereans went to the right place with the right attitude for questions of faith; and, Paul was a facilitator, helping them find answers to their queries (1 Peter 3:15). They went to God’s Word; that is the only place in which truth resides (John 17:17). They believed it was accessible; the truth is not beyond our reach (John 8:31-32). In the honest questioning of Paul’s information, notice that Paul did not take offense, because he understood that the truth is not self-invented; truth is from God (John 14:6).

For a Christian (or anyone) to search for, discover and accept truth is noble. We must be noble (1 John 4:1ff) and we should encourage it in those who question our belief.

JDS