I went back and edited the title of my previous post from “Living as Royalty” to “Character of Royalty” to better represent this second phase of our study. Having now established our identity as royalty in the Kingdom of God because we are God’s Children, Jesus’ Bride, were created to rule and have been given a Title we will now begin to discuss what it means to be royalty.
It isn’t riches, political acclaim or a huge army that makes one royal – it is how one acts. There are plenty of people of humble birth who have an extraordinary and royal character (a particular carpenter from the backwaters of Israel comes to mind). Similarly, there are plenty of people who have been born to wealth, power and prestige who are little more than simpering idiots. There may carry a title, sure, but they do not deserve it. It is only when inner character and outer recognition come together that one is truly royal. Seeing as how we have a divine birthright to the Kingdom of God, is behooves us to learn Kingly character from our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
As we established in our first post on character, humility is the key to Kingly character. It is the foundation virtue, the litmus test of the Kingdom of God. “Children look like their parents” is as true in the physical as it is in the emotional and spiritual. If we bear no resemblance to our Father in terms of humble character then people have right to challenge our legitimacy as sons.
The second character trait that comes to mind when discussing biblical royalty is extravagant generosity.
Kings are those who richly reward and freely give. Knowing their power, authority and ability to rule does not come from having the largest bank account allows the king to be generous with his people. He further endears himself to his people by providing for their needs, bettering their lives and making sure that their children will always have enough. Nothing erodes the goodwill of the people towards their sovereign faster than seeing their kids want and their king waste.
The underlying value of this virtue is Living Simply. Living Simply allows kings to be even more generous than they already are. In no way does this mean that the king and his family are in want, but they are not lavish or wasteful more than necessary. But I digress…
Extravagant Generosity comes from a place of security, from knowing that there will always be enough. This allows the king to not only be generous with material wealth, but also immaterial. This is especially true with “immaterial” things. Allow me to explain.
If I give someone $20, then they have the $20 and I do not. I have been “diminished” by $20, so to speak. That is an example of a material transfer. However, if I compliment someone, or share with them an idea, or pray for them and find them healed – have I been diminished? Of course not! Rather, I have been built up. Now I have given confidence to another, brainstormed and sparked creative potential that will better me as a result, or used the power invested in me as a son of God to advance my Father’s Kingdom. Though I have expended energy, the net result is a positive (not neutral) balance. I don’t lose out by sharing compliments, ideas or prayer – I am rather enhanced by them. This is why generosity with immaterial things is so beneficial.
You may or may not be blessed with material wealth. If you have been, it will only benefit you to be generous in giving it away, “investing it in the Kingdom” if you will. However, all of us have vast, immeasurable immaterial wealth that we can freely give away. Prayer, giving compliments, paving the way socially for others by speaking well of them… all of these things are immaterial resources we have that we can use to benefit others. And, since we are a Body, as we strengthen others we find ourselves strengthened as well.
See you next week!