From a very young age, most of us have heard from our parents about having a “good reputation”, especially those of us who are girls. It was not that long ago when it mattered. People were concerned about their own morality and the morality of their children. It was a different social atmosphere then – when integrity of heart and social behaviors really were the “stuff” of substance.
Businessmen were concerned about dealing fairly with their customers and their associates. It was important to have a reputation of integrity in the community, and still is to some extent. Without it, the business may suffer. But big business has changed all that. Why? Because people are now concerned about only the short-term effects on their pocketbook instead of the long-term effects of moral, economic, and social corruption. How else could a company like Enron manipulate so many people?
In the environment I grew up in, I was known as a “bad girl”. My reputation was shot with those who still valued such things. But I found acceptance and even admiration in a certain segment of the drug and alcohol culture. Things were changing. We were learning to value things that were worthless, and devalue those things that were priceless. It was the age of drugs, sex and rock ‘n roll and those who were ‘hip’ redefined the culture.
Today, “reputation” is scoffed at as a social dinosaur. Why? Because we have seen in all too many headlines, the gap between how one is known by the public, and the reality of their true character when the intimate knowledge of hidden things are exposed. Their “reputation” may have been excellent – their character just the opposite.
Remember when I said that “everything in the Kingdom of God is just exactly upside-down of what the world teaches?” The world teaches us to guard our reputations – and the Bible teaches us to guard our hearts – for out of it flows the wellspring of life.
As a bondservant of Christ, we will give up worrying about what others think of us, especially in “church”. In fact, we will surrender all that we are to the only One who deserves all our honor and praise.
In the next segment, we’re going to talk about how Jesus “made himself of no reputation”.
On Being a Bondservant of Christ – Part 1
On Being a Bondservant of Christ – Part 2
On Being a Bondservant of Christ – Part 3
On Being a Bondservant of Christ – Part 5
On Being a Bondservant of Christ – Part 6
On Being a Bondservant of Christ – Part 7
On Being a Bondservant of Christ – Part 8
On Being a Bondservant of Christ – Part 9
On Being a Bondservant of Christ – Part 10