Monday, March 12, 2012

Lent Day 17 - A Good Name

"A good name is more desirable than great riches;
to be esteemed is better than silver or gold."
Proverbs 22:1

What does it mean to esteem something or someone? 

According to the dictionary, it means to place great/high value on that person or thing; to respect them. Think about someone for whom you have great respect. What qualities do you esteem in them? 
  • honesty
  • integrity
  • a good work ethic
  • compassion
  • fairness
  • generosity
  • credibility
  • trustworthiness
  • patience
  • talent
  • consistency
What other things would you add to the list? 

Now think about the qualities that someone might esteem in you. That's a little harder, I know. We're always better at listing the bad stuff aren't we?

If you're having trouble here try starting with Galatians 5:22-23, the fruits of the spirit. Can you name them? More importantly, can you see these traits in yourself? Is it important? Absolutely!

We are made in the image of God. Christian. Little Christ. Do others see Him in us every day? Read Philippians 2: 1-16. Is reputation important? Look at verses 14-16a:
"Do everything without complaining or arguing, 
so that you may become blameless and pure,
children of God without fault in a crooked and
depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in
the universe as you hold out the word of life..."

Shine like stars...

Hold out the word of life...

We live in a crooked and depraved generation, of that there is no doubt. We are surprised when someone returns a lost wallet full of money; we shake our heads when someone puts their job on the line to take a stand against evil practices in their company; we are amazed to hear stories of people giving of themselves, putting others first...sacrificing. 

When did we become a society in which those kinds of actions were no longer expected? When did we stop having honor and making choices because they were the right ones, not because we benefited from them? 

Why is having a good name and the esteem of others so important? Because we carry the name of Christ. Because we are to shine like stars - be the light. We are to hold out the word of life - show the world a different way. 

As you pray today and tune your heart to the whispers of God's spirit, ask him for discernment to know where you stand here. Do your coworkers know that you are a Christian? If so, does the way you live and work and conduct yourself command respect, or does it open the door to ridicule and scorn of the things of Christ? 

Why is a good name so important? Because we are ambassadors for Christ. We are his representatives here on earth and our lives should be beyond reproach. 

That's a tall order for a mere mortal, isn't it? Fortunately we serve a God who does not leave us to our own devices. We have the power of the Spirit in us every day, and God's absolute specialty is taking the messes we make of our lives and reputations, and making them shining examples of His redemptive love. 

Have a little work to do here? Don't despair, you're in good company. If you have damaged your reputation and good name, ask God to forgive and to help you make it right again. Ask Him to use your failure and His redemption of it to His glory. You have not done anything that He can't redeem, and if you don't believe that just start reading scripture. Those people were a mess, and He did god-sized things through them. 

I don't know about you, but that gives me hope!

What do you think? Have you experienced God's redemptive work in your life in a way that had an impact on others? 

Thank you for visiting today. I am praying for you. 


No comments: