How important is your reputation? How much do you protect it? This question runs deeper than it may appear on the surface. This states the obvious: if you consistently follow Jesus and do all things as unto Him, doing what is right in His eyes, your reputation will take care of itself. And honestly, it won’t be a consideration. On the other hand, if it becomes the forefront of your mind, you could easily slide off into hypocrisy. Why? Because you will likely become more concerned about outer appearances than who you are in Jesus, while overlooking things like character. It may actually rob you of integrity.
When your reputation plays centerstage, your attention is completely on you. It becomes a place of pride, and gives place to the flesh. Instead of serving the Lord with your spirit, you would now rely on the arm of your flesh. Secondly, opinions of others would override your concern about how God sees you. Becoming a Pharisee is not that difficult. Our flesh loves attention and craves the praise of other humans. Consider some of the things Jesus said about the Pharisees. He called them hypocrites because they were pretenders. By definition it means actor. Therefore, everything is done for show, not purity of heart. Let’s bring it home: if you extend kindness to another for the sake of appearing kind, the act is not for the other person; it’s for you! It’s for your reputation. “Look at me,” cries the flesh.
Luke 11:43 Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.
Some people have been held captive by their reputation. Especially those who have had one that has been less than stellar. And we’ve seen those who’ve had a difficult time as children because of their family’s reputation. Of course, the opposite is true in other cases. Many have hearts that cry out: “I’m not the same as I used to be,” or “I’m not like my family, I am different!” Some will succumb to the reputation and act accordingly. Others will fight it with everything they’ve got. The former simply become who they believe to be true about themselves. And yes, actions often follow. Until they learn differently, they’ll never move on. The later may create a new one, but they may also find themselves fighting with imposter syndrome. Others may see them as being different, but they themselves might question whether they actually have the goods. In short, reputation can skew identity.
Regardless of reputation, pride can take hold, making it difficult for legitimate change. Some take pride in their “badness,” while others take pride in their “goodness.” As it applies to family reputation, some take advantage of it. They simply use it as leverage.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, our focus should be the glory of God. If we’re crucified with Christ (see Galatians 2:20), our reputation is no longer ours to hold onto. It’s counted as dead. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17. Be faithful to Jesus, and everything will be as it should.
Proverbs 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. If you have Jesus, you have a good Name. His Name is the Name above all names. He is our righteous and He is our goodness (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
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