The book of Ruth contains one simple verse that has become an inspiration for me. In Ruth 3:11 it says “Now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.” What an incredible statement! To be known as a woman of excellence! Some translations use the words “noble character” or “moral excellence.”
But how did Ruth gain that reputation? Was it just a gift? I don’t think so. I think the scriptures point to a different reason that she was known for her character. Later, in the book of Acts, we see another reference to noble character.
Acts 17:11 – Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
The Bereans had more character because they did some things differently than the Thessalonians. They listened to, studied and applied the Word of God to their lives daily. So, noble character can be acquired. It can be learned, but it requires a decision to work at it.
2 Peter 1:5-8 confirms that conclusion. “Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
We are to be diligent to learn the ways of God which will transform us into men and women of excellence. And what follows is that whole list of wonderful qualities from 2 Peter 1, which will grow in us as we remain diligent. Qualities that set us apart from the world and give us a reputation that allows us to represent our Lord Jesus for His glory, with great joy!