This statement has both flattered me and made me worry – “Oh, yeah! I’ve heard about you…”
Most of us see this need for a “balance” of doing what God has called you to do despite what others say or think (even if it means that others will think you’re off your rocker), and upholding a good reputation. Both are certainly important; but there is some confusion. There is no need to “balance” this.
Recently I’ve been more aware of the fact that these are two-in-the-same. For me, it’s usually other Christians that can cause the problems with my reputation – the way I respond to them in times of disagreement, or how I may justify sin when spending time with them – giving each other the liberty to not honor God with our speech and/or actions. How does this aid me in fulfilling God’s call on my life?
The mistake I often make is saying, “I don’t care what they think! God wants me to do this, so they can get a life or join me!” Well, there may be some truth to that, but the attitude is totally wrong! Down here in the south, they excuse the way northerners (like myself) talk, and follow up conversations with the statement, “He’s a Yankee, don’t mind him.” I not only need to be concerned with my obedience in following the plans of God for my life, but I also need to be mindful of the fact that part of those plans may include YOU! If I’m careless with how I talk to others (especially in the Body of Christ) and walk around like a rogue minister, then I’m failing at being obedient to God for the sake of my I-don’t-care-what-you-say-God-has-called-me reputation; which, by the way, doesn’t show anybody that “God has called” me!
The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden. 1 Tim 5:24–25
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
We need to be mindful of our speech.
We need to be mindful of our actions.
We need to be mindful of our attitude.
We need to be mindful of others around us.
If we do so, then we will be honoring to God (reputation); and we may even find it a bit easier to live out the purpose and plans God has for our lives when there is an army of soldiers shoulder-to-shoulder, ready to fight the good fight of faith along with us!
Seeking God’s Approval,