How’s Your Reputation?


How’s Your Reputation?

So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 1 Thessalonians 1:7-9  

What was the reputation of the Thessalonians when the apostle Paul wrote them? How were they known even from far? By their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ! People saw and heard of their faith. They had a reputation of faith. They were examples to others based on their faith. What did their faith look like? What was it marked by? What stood out? Do we have a reputation of faith? Do people know us by our faith? Are we examples above all else in the way of faith to our loved ones, families, friends, co-workers, classmates, teammates, cellmates, fellow homeless buddies, strangers, and people near and far who might hear of us through others or hear of us via the news? How did Paul describe their reputation of faith? How were they examples in their faith? What about us?

Was their faith about hanging crosses around their necks, perfect church attendance, Bible school membership, strong participation at mid-week Bible study, how many yummy brownies they made for church picnics, that they called themselves Christians, that they sang in choir, that they talked all the time about Jesus, by how much they highlighted in their Bibles, by the fact they came from “good Christian homes”, by the fact they rushed to the church altar one Sunday in a swarm of people recommitting their lives to Christ before dashing off to an afternoon of barbeque and football games, by the fact they got baptized at an early age, by the fact they told their friends and family they believed in Jesus? No! Is there anything wrong with any of this? No! But this is NOT what marked their awesome reputation of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, nor should it be what stands out as more important than anything when it comes to our own faith and in being examples to the world as people of faith in Christ.

Paul said: “…AND HOW YE TURNED TO GOD FROM IDOLS TO SERVE THE LIVING AND TRUE GOD.” (bold and upper case added). The Thessalonians he addressed in his letter didn’t just intellectually believe in Jesus Christ. He said they “TURNED TO GOD.” They left behind the ways of this world and lived for Jesus Christ according to God’s ways!  They loved and served God!

   What kind of reputation do you have? Can the world tell you’re living for Christ? Do you live to love and serve Him? What better reputation can we have than to live for Christ? This is what genuine faith in Him looks like.  

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