Reputation. What does that word remind you of? Is it good? Bad?
For me, I’m reminded of what my parents drilled into me while I was growing up. “Be wary of your reputation with your actions” I can hear it now! But what does the Bible say about reputation?
Paul wrote in the book of Thessalonians to a new group of friends and he took time, not only to tell them what he thinks of them, but to let them know what others are thinking as well. In 1 Thessalonians, Paul writes,
“2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, 3 remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not only in word but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere”
Reading that inspires me to think about what our reputation might be as believers in our community, as a metroplex, as the American church. People are watching and want to know how we’re navigating a season where there’s so much divide culturally. How do we reflect Christ’s love and his unity to the world around us watching? I can only speak for me, but my hope is that we will shine as we walk through this time and that we would ask God to increase in us and that he would become the reputation that proceeds us. What a great reputation that would be, to point to Jesus wherever we find ourselves.