Reputation. We all have one. Several, probably, depending on where we live and move. Some of it will relate directly to us, other parts won’t – they will be due to how people see us, which may say more about them than us.
There is a gentleman who left me a message on my answerphone yesterday afternoon. His letterbox has a clear notice not to post leaflets or junk mail. However, for the Jubilee, as well as last Christmas, he still got a leaflet. In fact, at Christmas, I wrote him a note of apology, which I posted. He made it clear our reputation is very low in his books.
You build a good reputation – it has to be true to your character. And to maintain it you have to live up to it. But honestly, not for the sake of it.
It is always a sobering thought to ponder the fact that Jesus entrusted his reputation to us. And he manages it, just like he did with the first plan, the Jewish project. His name is always honoured, whether it’s because we are seen to be changed, distinct people, or whether we are seen to be falling short of who we are called to be. No one is fooled.
It is our duty not to be ashamed, but to live lives of reckless grace, that they may point to Him. To adventurously obey his commands. And it is our duty to minister God’s authority and power, the presence of the kingdom, whether we feel like it or not. He will prove faithful.
Our Father, hallowed be your name.