A Good Name

What is your reputation? What would someone say about you and your name? Do you know? Most of us probably don’t know for sure. We can hope others would say nice things about us. Too often we get so busy with life that we forget to step back and look at ourselves. Maybe it is time to ask yourself, “what is my life saying to other peoples?”

I spent six years in Asia. Over that time, I had the honor of meeting so many wonderful people. While we were all culturally diverse, there was an openness to learn about each other. I met great folks from India, Philippines, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong. All were different and all had great stories. Each person had built a reputation and a name for themselves in the company. I knew who I should talk to about different topics, who could help me in others and who would be a sympathetic ear. I found out who had a heart for orphans, who had a love of travel and who was just plain fun to hang out with. It was a great time in my career and life.

Of course, all of these folks were able to get to know me as well. Because of the relationships I had built, I had the honor to share the gospel with many of them. One even accepted Jesus to be their Lord and Savior. It was a fruitful time of relationships and ministry. But it wasn’t until I was leaving Asia where I found out what my reputation really was. I found out what my name meant to those who I built relationships with for six years.

For my farewell party, I was given a word picture of the words that they felt best described me and my reputation. It was humbling to read words like trust-worth, empathic, creative, enthusiastic, kind, dynamic, genuine and passionate. It was insightful to read words like slapstick, fun, warm, poetry, jolly, sing, quiet and different. But it was honoring to read words like principled, committed, generous and Christian. Without this word picture, I would never have known what my name meant to others. It is not something you can fake. People will see through it.

So I ask again, what would others say about you? What is your reputation? Would they see Jesus in you? Is your day in, day out behavior consistently shining the light of God? Does your daily interaction with others reveal the heart of the Father who loves them? It can if you want it to. Let Jesus open your heart to a good name and a great reputation as a follower of Christ.

Action for the day

Today ask a few trusted friends or family to write down 5-7 words that best describe you. When you get them back do the following actions:

  • Before you get any words back, write down what you think the best 5-7 words that describe you.
  • Ask God to tell you how He sees you and write those words down.
  • Read through all the words from the three lists. Are there similarities or differences?
  • Are you surprised by the words your friends and family shared? If so why?
  • Ask yourself, “are these the words I want to be known by?”

If you need to make any changes in your life so you can be known as a wholly devoted follower of Christ, go ahead and decide to make the changes. Ask God to help you and start being that person today. You can change your reputation!

Prayer for the day

Jesus, You see me as Your bride. I know you love me and desire the best for me. You tell us we are son’s and daughter’s to God the Father. You tell us that we are a holy nation and a royal priesthood. Help me live like a son or daughter. Help me to understand what it means to be a royal priest. Help me to believe this and act like a prince or princess. Show me where I need to change so I can shine Your light more brightly. Let my actions today and everyday reflect You. In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.

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