Friday, May 29, 2009

THE PERFECT GENTLEMAN 1


"The prosperity of a country depends, not on the abundance of its revenues, nor on the strength of its fortifications, nor on the beauty of its public buildings; but it consists in the number of its cultivated citizens, in its men of education, enlightenment, and character; here are to be found its true interest, its chief strength, its real power."

-Martin Luther

Samuel Smiles in his book on, 'Character' defines character as one of the greatest motive powers in the world. In its finest embodiments, it exemplifies human nature in its highest forms, for it exhibits man at his best.

According to the tenth edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary a gentleman is: " A courteous or honourable man, a man of good social position, especially one of wealth and leisure ." Following this definition of a gentleman one can easily imagine the picture of a man who is polite, respectful and considerate, has a lot of wealth and consequently is held in high respect. Yet, I believe strongly that a gentleman may be rich in all the aforementioned qualities, but may not necessarily be rich in cash or other material possessions.

Intellectual acumen has no necessary relation to honourable or excellent character. In the Bible, appeals are constantly made to the heart of man and to the spirit we are of, while references to the intellect are of very rare occurrence. George Herbert once said that, "a handful of good life, is worth a bushel of learning." Not that learning is to be despised, but that it must be allied to goodness. Intellectual capacity, according to Samuel Smiles, is sometimes found associated with the meanest moral character with abject servility to those in high places, and arrogance to those of low estate. A man may be accomplished in art, literature, and science, and yet be of the lowest ranking, in honesty, virtue, truthfulness, and devotion to duty.

It is therefore not a surprise that men of genuine excellence, in every station of life; men of industry, of integrity, of high principles, and of sterling honesty of purpose, command the spontaneous homage of mankind. It is natural to believe in such men, to have confidence in them, and to want to emulate them. All that is good in the world is upheld by them, and without their presence in the world, the world would not be worth living in. These men are the Perfect Gentlemen of our world, and they truly reflect the magnificence of the Almighty God, their creator, irrespective of their creed or colour.

Our society today is in need of men of exemplary character; such character that is worth emulating by all who appreciates the virtues of life, as designed by the Creator of life. While it can be said that such qualities are desirable in leaders in all walks of life, it is also essential to note that it is achievable by every man and woman alive, as such, should be much desired by all. It is this exemplary character that sets the man or woman who has imbibed it, miles apart from others.

Great men are always exceptional men; and greatness itself is only comparative. Indeed, the range of most men in life is so limited, that very few may see the opportunity of being great. But each man can act his part honestly and honourably, and to the best of his ability. He can use his gifts, and not abuse or misuse them. He can strive to make the best of life. He can be true, just, honest, and faithful, even in small things. In a word, he can do his duty in that sphere in which God has placed him, and remain a bastion of hope in the true calling of the Perfect Gentleman, irrespective of the storms of life.

Jesus Christ is the perfect example of gentlemanliness; he embodied a truly great character, yet so simple and gentle in his dealings with the people of his time. He is the perfect combination of the lion and the lamb, of the dove and the eagle, and he has promised to give to the heart in which he dwells the same spirit which dwells in him, which is the Holy Spirit of God. Now the fruit of this Spirit as stated in the Bible (Galatians 5:22) is what I call here the attributes of a truly perfect gentleman. The nine fruit are as follows:

1. Love

2. Joy

3. Peace

4. Patience (Longsuffering)

5. Kindness (Gentleness)

6. Goodness

7. Faithfulness

8. Humility (Meekness)

9. Self Control (Temperance)

These attributes collectively, constitutes the embodiment of the Perfect Gentleman and are traceable to all walks of life whether pastoral, public servant, private sector entrepreneurs, military professional etc.

You too can become a perfect gentleman today.

24 comments:

Liane Schmidt said...

Incredibly well written, great post - wonderful subject matter.

Best wishes.

Sincerely,

-Liane Schmidt.

Diane L. Harris said...

Original idea and well-written. Thank you for encouraging men to be gentlemen in truth rather than for show, by taking Christ as their ultimate example. I enjoy my husband opening doors for me, but even more I appreciate him showing gentle concern for my spiritual development and the spiritual welfare of the members of our church. I appreciate him for caring about old friends who are not doing so well, and stopping to support even drunks and drug addicts in their quest for self-esteem and deliverance.

Diane L. Harris
http://www.steppingintothelight.net

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