December 18; Reputations

Titus; I Peter 1:1-2:12

Do you consider what kind of reputation you have among your friends and acquaintances? What about the school you went to? What are they known for? How about your workplace, your neighborhood, your church? What do people believe about people who work, live, and worship there?

Should we be concerned with our reputations? Or, like some would say, “What people think about me is not my problem.”

Paul, in Titus 1 quoted a prophet from the Island of Crete who said this:

Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons… 

Ouch.

But then Paul goes on to say “This testimony is true.” Double ouch.

I used to tell my students that anytime someone said, “always,” or “everybody,” or “all,” what followed was usually not true. But Paul seems to back up the idea that if you are from the Island of Crete you are a lazy, lying, glutton. I doubt that reputation did much for the tourist trade.

In his letters, Paul will often talk about how we should live. He uses words like servant, patient, kind, godly…

And he said something in Titus 2:19 that I believe sums up why our reputations should be stellar.

…so that in every way (we) will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.

He goes on to tell us to say “No” to ungodliness, to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives. Why is that important? So that God will bless us with material comfort, health, and happiness? Or should we want the kind of reputation that will reveal Jesus in us, and encourage others to want Him for themselves?

If we have reputations for being liars, partiers, or having dirty minds, what about that would draw anyone to a Holy God? Using Paul’s example in his letter to Titus, what about the reputation of the Cretans would make anyone want to visit there, much less live there?

Let me suggest that your reputation is very important as you represent Jesus. Let’s determine to live lives that are genuine, that are patient, kind, grounded in Truth and consistent in our walk. Let’s have a reputation for being joyful, giving, honest, servants of the Savior so that others will want what we have through the blood of Jesus.

Have you considered your reputation? You should.

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