1 TIMOTHY 3:7
“And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”
This verse intrigues me. Why would Paul say an elder must have a good reputation with those OUTSIDE the church? Why be concerned about those people? Isn’t the church the important thing. Of course, the church is important. But Paul is telling Timothy that those outside the church are watching us. We may be the only example of Christ they ever see.
So, it is very important to keep your reputation up among the world. They may not like you, but they need to respect you. If we let our reputation falter due to our own sin and lifestyle, we have lost every opportunity to bear witness for Christ. After all, isn’t that the important thing – sharing Jesus?
Our children must be taught this important lesson. Their reputation can be damaged in a second. An impulse decision in a weak moment can lead to years of reputation rebuilding. How do we teach our children the importance of maintaining their reputation?
I truly believe it is by teaching them that they are not just representing themselves and their family. They are representing Christ (if they are a believer). It is Christ’s reputation who is damaged by our disobedience and rebellion. Nothing we can do can diminish who Christ is, but we can cause people to turn away from Christ based on our behaviors.
How’s your rep? Do you represent Christ in the world? Do your lost friends and neighbors know you stand with Christ? If you have anything in your life that you would not share with Jesus, get rid of it. If Christ wouldn’t do it, you shouldn’t either. Let your reputation reflect Jesus every day.
I want to be an example of Your everlasting love. I want others, lost or saved, to be drawn to me because of my love for You. Thank You for loving me despite my failures.