He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap. 1 Timothy 3:7
Reputation is how other people see a person. What type of person do they see when they look at someone? What is his character like?
Reputations can be good or bad. Some can be positive reputations that every loves, or they can be negative ones that people hate.
Every person has a reputation of some sort. It can be seen in how they act and react to different situations. There are people who are known to get angry every time when they begin to talk about politics. Others may always be generous with time, or money. Some may have the reputation of being a talker.
Although Paul is talking specifically about someone who is going to be an overseer, the rule can be applied to every believer. Believers are to have a good reputation with outsiders, with people who are outside the belief in Jesus.
As Jesus walked on this earth, He had a good reputation with all people. He was known for being loving, kind, and generous. He was known to heal and forgive. Whether a person believed in Him or not, people knew who He was and what He was like.
Believers in the church do not always have a good reputation with people outside the church. Some are extremely judgmental. Others are stingy with their money and not giving. Many employers will state that believers are thought of to be lazy and not giving their best effort at work. Churches are often closed off to outsiders. People inside the church have their own little cliques that they stay in, and refuse to let others in.
These types of actions push people away from God and Jesus. They are falling into disgrace and into the devil’s trap to destroy the church and individual.
Find out what people think about you. What is your reputation with those outside the church?
Do people know you to be a believer, who is full of love, grace, mercy and truth?
Or do people see someone who says one thing and says or does something different?
Although reputation is not everything, it does mean something. It reveals how you are really living your life. Although the world may try to destroy you, they cannot deny who you are. What is your reputation to the world?
I pray today that your life will be like that of Jesus to this world; that people will know you are a follower of Jesus; that you will not do anything that will bring disgrace to God; and that many will know Jesus because of your actions and words.