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Building a Reputation

 

“I’ve seen this kind of thing before. I call it a flash-in-the-pan deal. Someone gets all stirred up, makes some changes in their life and fly high for about a month. And then they revert back to the way they were before. I don’t get my hopes up anymore. I’ve been let down too many times in the past. Now I usually say: ‘Time will tell or we’ll wait and see.’”

 

Whether it’s the latest miracle gadget that has changed someone’s life, or the newest no-fail health elixir being feverishly promoted or the big-splash resolve by someone to amend their ways – it just seems all too common that the highly-touted ‘goodness’ fizzles out quickly and people move on to something else.

 

It takes more than a week or a month to build credibility. A reputation is something that evolves day by day. Losing your reputation can happen in a flash – tragically and swiftly. But building a positive reputation is a long-haul deal – a progressive, day by day process.

 

The Apostle Paul wrote Timothy about the level of support Christian widows in a local church should receive and which ones should be enrolled for continuing assembly support. Even though you may not be a widow, we can learn something from his instructions regarding which widows qualify for church support. Here is what he wrote:

 

Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age,
having been the wife of one husband,
and having a reputation for good works:
if she has brought up children,
has shown hospitality,
has washed the feet of the saints,
has cared for the afflicted,
and has devoted herself to every good work.
1Timothy 5:9-10

 

Paul is really saying the widow must already have had a good track-record. He didn’t say she could qualify for financial support if, yes, if she started doing these things. No! The ones who qualified were Christians whose life-long practice, since salvation’s day, was marked by upright moral living and faithfulness in a marriage, an unwavering commitment to good works, kindness, hospitality and compassion to others and one who made every effort to raise their children in the fear of the Lord.

 

So what lesson can we learn even though one is not a widow? Don’t expect people’s perception of you to change over night. Just because you started reading your Bible more last week and made a commitment, from here on in, to be at all the activities of the local assembly does not mean that people will instantly and automatically consider you to be a ‘faithful, devoted, and helpful’ believer.

 

It takes a great deal of time to build a reputation but no time to wreck one. You ‘earn’ respect one penny at a time. Every good and wise choice you make adds to the balance in your credibility bank.

 

Some Christians complain that they are never entrusted with certain responsibilities while others are. Have you given others a reason to confidently trust you? Or do you have a spotty track record?

 

How will people reflect on your life when you’re gone? Will they say: “She made a big turn around this past year? She must have been trying to make up for lost time.”  Or will they say: “What a reputation and legacy she left us! Christ was out-front in her life and over the years it was so evident in all dimensions of her life.”  As good as the last-minute turn around may be, there’s nothing like a good, solid, established Christian track record.

 

"Lord preserve me from anything today that has the potential to damage or tarnish my reputation. Help me to build a Christian reputation that honours and glorifies the Name of Christ."

 

Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.
Warmly in Christ,

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