Recently I have been thinking about what it means to have Christian moral character. I work with the Center for Ethics at Taylor University and the more we think about what we want to accomplish the more we seem to be focusing on helping students develop moral character. N. T. Wright’s book, After You Believe, also has me thinking about moral character. This Christmas as I have been reflecting on the birth of Jesus I have been thinking about what it tells us about Jesus’ moral character.
As human beings we don’t have anything to say about the circumstances of our birth. We have no choice regarding who our parents are and where we are born, but Jesus had a choice. What he chose tells us about his character. In Philippians 2: 5-8, Paul wrote “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!” (NIV) Jesus’ attitude and choice regarding his becoming a human being reflects his moral character. Humility and obedience are virtues that are part of that character. Although he was by nature God from before the beginning of time, his character was such that he was willing to be obedient to the Father and take on the role that was needed to express divine love to human beings who had abandoned God to go their own way.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.