Noble or Knucklehead?

I don’t think a man plans to be a knucklehead, however many a man will become just that.

For example the following two stories took honorable mention in the 2015 Darwin Awards.

  • A man in his attempt to siphon gas from a motor home parked on a Seattle Street got more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said the man admitted to trying to steal gas, but he plugged his siphon hose into the sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges saying it was the best laugh he’d ever had.
  • An American teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.

As funny as these true stories are, being a knucklehead has become commonplace in our culture and most knuckleheaded decisions are not laughing matters. Don’t get me wrong, there are many knuckleheaded things people do that are quite funny as in the above stories, I know I’ve done my share of knuckleheaded things. For the sake of this article, we are not talking about stupid or thoughtless decisions that may or may not end up being funny, but about life choices that tragically end up settling for far less than what God intended. The one who chooses to pattern their life after a culture that is counter to God’s design and desire for all of mankind is the ultimate knucklehead!

What God desires for all mankind is simply stated in I Timothy 2:3-4: This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

My wife and I have four children and the Lord’s continued faithfulness in their life and ours is all the proof I will ever need that HE has always had our best interest in mind.

Earlier this year our oldest daughter gave birth to our first grandson. It has long been our prayer that our children and now grandson (and any grandchildren who follow him) will chose the path far less traveled …choosing to become NOBLE as described in Isaiah 32:8: A NOBLE MAN PLANS NOBLE THINGS; HE STANDS UP FOR NOBLE CAUSES. The word “noble” means to show or have fine personal qualities as well as high moral principles and ideals. Becoming noble in todays culture is not easy and will most likely become even harder with each passing year. The path to nobility begins at home and is patterned after the noblest man to have ever walked this earth? Jesus!

There are many reasons that a majority of people never becomes noble. Many do not have parents or peers that understand the benefits of nobility. Some will become enticed by the lure of a culture that idolizes most anything as well as the lies from a world of deceit.

The reasons for not being noble are many, — consider what John Calvin stated: “men are idol factories.” Men are addicted to everything from money to secret thought lives, to comfortable little secluded environments they spend their waking hours to create. Men make idols of almost anything, but common examples today include their work, titles, positions, homes, cars, boats, intelligence, relationships, sex and even our bodies. The issue of idolatry is looking to anything except God our Creator for identity, meaning and ultimate purpose …it is rooted in disbelief.

Unfortunately the deceit of our world and the lure of idolatry impacts both Christians and those who have yet to acknowledge Christ as the way to forgiveness and eternal life. Sadly, this is precisely why there is little difference in the behavior of those who have put their trust in Christ and those who have not. Both principles and ideals are rooted in culture, not the ONE who created them!

The influence of our culture is strong and without clear direction from God’s Word and a life that that is patterned after the life of Christ there is little hope of becoming and remaining noble. The influence of our culture will derail good intentions of becoming noble …here are four common ways in which people settle for far less than God intended:

  1. Seeking significance and self-worth through accomplishments and relationships. If your significance and self-worth come through either accomplishments or relationships, you will not only be driven, but co-dependent. God created us in His image …in His image we have both great significance and self-wort
  2. One’s primary motivation in life becomes the accumulation of money and things. When money and things becomes our primary motivation, we will use people to attain both, and when people become secondary, nobility is impossible!
  3. The use of drugs and alcohol to escape reality or whatever the reason. This is big business, be it legal or not. Sometimes the “pain” of life is just too much for many and some will choose to numb this pain with drugs and/or alcohol instead of seeking the Lord for their comfort.
  4. The blatant disregard of God’s design for sex within marriage. Marriage is the union of two becoming one flesh. The Lord did not design, nor intend man to become joined “in marriage” to more than one partner. Sex “joins’ a male and female into “one flesh” – a union that God intended to last a lifetime.

As common as the above four cultural compromises are in our culture, every one of them will only lead to heartache, loss, and a boatload of regret! Why? Because God’s design is the ONLY way to fulfillment in life, His love for us is perfect: “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:6). He desires that we live a life different from the world, that we live for Him, that we are indeed noble.

God’s perfect picture of nobility is Jesus Christ, the son of God who, as a man, set the example while living over 2000 years ago. He is the one we are to follow (I Peter 2:21-24) if our desire is to be noble.

Make no mistake becoming Christ-like is what it will take to become truly noble. Becoming noble begins with a commitment to pattern one’s life after the noblest man, Jesus Christ. We can leave a legacy of nobility as we commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also – II Timothy 2:2.

TO NOT follow the life of Christ is …well …just plain knuckleheaded!

Contributed by VP of Men’s Teams – Tim Chastain