Isn’t it amazing how important our reputation is to us? We work very hard to build a good one and even harder trying to keep it. It’s as if our reputation amongst others is all-encompassing and we’ll do anything to maintain that image.
The problem with a reputation is that most times it’s self-serving. We seek out a reputation for ourselves, to be known, to be liked, to matter. And in the building of this image, we sometimes forget what it means to be humble. God wants humility from us, to give it all up for him.
Of course it’s important to have a good reputation, especially if we’re to lead others to Christ. When Paul discussed the attributes of a good overseer or deacon, he mentioned that they, “must have a good reputation with outsiders, so that (they) will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap” (1 Timothy 3:7). But with that reputation comes the reminder that it is not for us. We must follow the example of Jesus when he, “made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant” (Philippians 2:7).
Christ seeks for us to grow in him. When you’re full of yourself, Christ cannot fill you. Instead, we should build a reputation that serves and glorifies him. A reputation of love, humility and forgiveness. An image of joy, peace and faith. With that mindset, we will become more like Christ (1 John 2:6) and glorify him with our behavior (1 Peter 2:12).