It is not enough to say that you are a Christian. It’s pretty simple that people only care about your Christianity with the fact that you act like a Christian. Going to church on Sunday and Wednesday does not designate you as a Christian. What designates you as a Christian is first that you have accepted Christ as your savior and the Lord of your life. But second to that is that you show the fruit of Christ. In Matthew 7:15-20, it says that they (people) will know you by your fruit. If you are not being fruitful in your life as a Christian then it is pointless to claim that you are a Christian. If someone cannot identify you as a follower of Christ, then there is something seriously wrong with this equation.
Time after time, the prophet Daniel exhibited himself as a follower of God. He refused the idolized foods of the king’s court, he refused to bow to the king’s commands to revere the king as a god, and he focused on being all that God had for him to be. He wasn’t so much concerned with what others thought of him and this made his reputation not only exceptional with the people of the land but also made him favorable to the king. When you put God first, your reputation does not suffer. It may not seem favorable at the time but you will soon see that the favor of God will be upon you. In Matthew 6:33, it is written to “seek first the kingdom of God” and “then all these things will be added unto you.” If you see God first, the rest will fall into place.
Sara and I made a commitment several years ago that we would not live a life filled with debt. We have sought His kingdom first on the finances that He has entrusted us with. Just before Christmas of 2010, we had decided that we wanted to get out of debt and needed to cut down more of our lifestyle. We continued to give and tithe according to what we had promised. However, things were still tight financially. I didn’t know how we were going to get gas that week much less Christmas for the girls but I know that our God is faithful. At some point, someone had placed a couple of gift cards in my mailbox at work and blessed us with enough for Christmas for our girls and gas for the next week. If you are faithful to put God first, He will be faithful to you. What does that have to do with reputation? If Sara and I had been stingy people who never gave and who put God last, God would not have put on the heart of that person who knew us to give us that gift.
The reputation that you have will cause you to reflect the glory of God.
The news is often plagued with people who are scheming and swindling other people. We see time after time the corruption of businesses and even in the government which has destroyed the reputation of those involved. You don’t hear much from those companies after the fact other than a negative reputation. In 1 Peter 3:12-16, it says; “The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil. Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.”
With that said, God is watching over you right now whether you are doing what is right or not. However, He only will listen to the prayers of those who are doing right before Him. Not only will He hear the prayers of the righteous, but He will also be faithful to show the good reputation of that person. In Proverbs 3, it says in the Amplified that God will grant you “favor, high esteem, and a good name in the sight of God and of man.”
In 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, Paul wrote to the church that it should be the ambition of their lives to live a quiet life of minding their own business and working with their hands. Following that, it says “as a result, people who are not Christians will respect the way that you live, and you will not need to depend on others to meet your financial needs.” Your faithfulness to seek first God’s kingdom and to live a quiet life of authenticity will gain you a great reputation. In short, God is calling you to live an authentic life.
Our children are desiring to see us as fathers have a good reputation. When passing on into eternity, what is the story of our lives going to be? How are we going to be remembered? There is a song by Sidewalk Prophets that talks about how they’d be remembered once they had faded into a memory.
“I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You”
What kind of reputation are you leaving behind? Is it one that matters?