Six Essential Virtues for Life – #6 Whatever Is Admirable!
By Rob Fields
Who are the people we admire in life? It may be a person who plays for your favorite sports team. You admire their talent, abilities, or personality. You may also admire a family member such as a grandfather or grandmother for their wisdom and love. It is no doubt we will admire someone whether conscience or un-consciously because we desire to see a living example for the life we choose. Some of those we select could be a great model while others may be a poor example.
Paul shares with the Philippian believers this virtue of admirable. The word admirable (euphēmos), εὔφημος in this passages is pertaining to deserving approval or good reputation—‘worthy of praise, worthy of approval.’ may be rendered as ‘what people should praise.’ The basic meaning of ADMIRABLE is to have a report or saying that is well about them. It is the person who has acted and made good choices who is commended.
We find these words of Jesus, “Well done, my good servant.” (Lk 19:17) Jesus is teaching His disciples on the stewardship of responsibilities. This Parable of the 10 Minas sums up Jesus’ teaching to the disciples and the nation at large, to show that it too had responsibilities. If the nation did not turn to Jesus, it would be punished.
While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’
“But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’
“He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.
“The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’
“ ‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’
In a Forbes article, it provided ten characteristics of highly admired people. What are those traits that we aim the most when we find them in others? And despite what may seem, it is not wealthy people with glamorous cars, lovely holidays, pretty faces, or luxurious houses what attract us the most (although very tempting). Our role models, here are a few characteristics that we highlight the most:
- Humility. They are engaging because they do not pretend they are perfect. They accept their limitations and focus on self-improvement.
- The ability to learn. And it is incredibly admirable because, at a certain point, we all know there are things we need to change or improve. But just open-minded learners are courageous enough to take off their backpack when needed.
- Integrity. Understood as the honest behavior of loyal human beings. Of those people that care about doing the right thing.
- Compassion for others. Compassionate people are not just the happiest but also significantly attractive to others.
- Inspiring others. Being able to inspire, to make other people follow and fight for our own battles is clearly a desirable quality because it proves us that we are doing things right.
So what qualities would have made your list a little different from the Forbes article? It is easy to value the traits that the world elevates and suggest for us to be like. What of the virtues and values that reflect the Person and Nature of God Himself? Do we consider and even model those qualities in Jesus enough to adopt in our lives? What we see in the Life and Person of Jesus Himself is not only admirable, but worth seeking as our model and example for life.