WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
FEBRUARY 3, 2021
TOPIC: BUILDING A GOOD REPUTATION
BY T. O. BANSO
“Choose a good reputation over great riches, for being held in high esteem is better than having silver or gold” (Proverbs 22:1 New Living Translation).
The Bible records in Luke 7:1-10 the story of a centurion whom Jesus healed his highly valued staff. The centurion had a good reputation among the Jews and they came to beg Jesus on his behalf. “And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, ‘for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue’” (Luke 7:4-5 New King James Version).
Reputation is defined as the opinion that people have about what somebody/something is like based on what has happened in the past. Reputation can be bad or good. Nobody is perfect but we must seek to have a good reputation. I’m not talking about trying to please men so that they can speak favourably about you. No. As a child of God, you must follow His way. 1 Peter 3:16 says if people speak evil against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.
A good reputation is not something you buy but something you earn. We must seek to have a good reputation not so as to please people, but because it is the right thing to do. The Bible instructs us to have a good reputation. I am talking about a good reputation based on godly character. D. L. Moody is quoted as saying, “If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself.”
One of the qualifications for appointment as elders and deacons in the church is having a good reputation or being of good report. “For an elder must be a man whose life cannot be spoken against. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exhibit self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation” (1 Timothy 3:2 New Living Translation). Verse 8a says, “In the same way, deacons must be people who are respected and have integrity” (New Living Translation).
The construction of a building is not completed at once; it is done over a period of time. The same goes for building a good reputation. Whether in the ministry, business, workplace, etc., you need a good reputation and you must work at it.
The Bible says in Proverbs 22:1, “Choose a good reputation over great riches, for being held in high esteem is better than having silver or gold” (New Living Translation). Similarly, Proverbs 3:3-4 says, “Never let loyalty and kindness get away from you! Wear them like a necklace; write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will gain a good reputation” (New Living Translation).
Some examples of people with a good reputation in the Bible
1.The leaders Moses appointed for Israel. Because Moses could no longer bear the burden of leading the Israelites alone, he told them, “Choose some men from each tribe who have wisdom, understanding, and a good reputation, and I will appoint them as your leaders.’” (Deuteronomy 1:13 New Living Translation). Choosing into leadership people with a bad reputation is a liability!
2. The officials that Nehemiah appointed. Nehemiah said in Nehemiah 13:13, “I put Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah, one of the Levites, in charge of the storerooms. And I appointed Hanan son of Zaccur and grandson of Mattaniah as their assistant. These men had an excellent reputation, and it was their job to make honest distributions to their fellow Levites” (New Living Translation). These officials were people of excellent reputation. An excellent reputation is an asset, especially in leadership.
3, Solomon. Solomon had a good reputation which the queen of Sheba heard about. A good reputation or a bad reputation goes ahead of one. 1 Kings 10:1 says, “When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s reputation, which brought honor to the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions” (New Living Translation). Unfortunately, when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart after other gods; his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David (1 Kings 11:4).
4. The leaders of the clans of the half-tribe of Manasseh. 1 Chronicles 5:24 says, “These were the leaders of their clans: Epher, Ishi, Eliel, Azriel, Jeremiah, Hodaviah, and Jahdiel. Each of these men had a great reputation as a warrior and leader” (New Living Translation). Please take note: Each of them had a great reputation as a warrior and leader.
5. Gamaliel. The Bible describes this Pharisee as a teacher of the law who was held in respect by all the people. Acts 5:34 says, “Then one in the council stood up, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in respect by all the people, and commanded them to put the apostles outside for a little while” (New King James Version). The King James Version, in place of “held in respect by all the people”, uses the phrase, “had in reputation among all the people.”
6. The seven deacons appointed by the early apostles. These were appointed to be in charge of the food distribution programme following the complaints of the Greek-speaking believers that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.
Peter said, “Now look around among yourselves, brothers, and select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom” (Acts 6:3 New Living Translation). To be well-respected is synonymous with having a good reputation. The New King James Version uses the phrase “seven men of honest report.” In verse 5, these seven deacons who met the criteria were chosen.
7. Ananias, a certain disciple. This disciple is described as “a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt there” (Acts 22:12 New King James Version). A good testimony means a good report or a good reputation.
8. Cornelius, a centurion. The emissaries Cornelius sent to invite Peter told him: “Cornelius the centurion, a just man, one who fears God and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to summon you to his house, and to hear words from you.” (Acts 10:22 (New King James Version). This centurion had a good reputation or was well-respected by all the Jews.
9. Demetrius. Everyone spoke highly of this Christian and John commended him. 3 John 12 says, “But everyone speaks highly of Demetrius, even truth itself. We ourselves can say the same for him, and you know we speak the truth” (New Living Translation). Demetrius had a good reputation – everybody spoke highly of him.
Learn from these good examples. They are not the only people in the Bible who had a good reputation although the phrase might not have been used to describe others. In your relationship with human beings, a good reputation is an asset. Build a good reputation based on godly character. “A good reputation is more valuable than the most expensive perfume” (Ecclesiastes 7:1a, New Living Translation). This is not about trying to please men or compromising holy living.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I shall choose a good reputation over great riches in Jesus’ name, Holy Spirit, help me to cultivate godly character thereby building a good reputation. O Lord; deliver me from whatever will destroy my reputation. Save the leaders in the body of Christ from the enemy that seeks to damage their reputation. Protect and preserve them, O Lord.
(For over 400 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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