Summertime is the season for family reunions. Great aunts pinch chubby baby cheeks. Cousins reminisce about Grandma’s famous chocolate pie. And inevitably, everyone compares each other’s physical features and personality traits to other family members.
Any time my family gets together, I am amazed how much my son takes after his grandpa’s work ethic. They get up and go to bed with the sun, putting in hours of labor with a cheerful, go get ‘em attitude. My daughter is a lot like her grandmother—tender and caring with a quirky sense of humor. That makes me wonder … when others look at me, who do they see?
In 1 Kings 3:28, King Solomon clearly resembled someone through his wisdom and discernment. He mirrored God’s character when he ruled between two mothers fighting for custody of one child. “When all Israel heard the king’s decision, the people were in awe of the king, for they saw the wisdom God had given him for rendering justice.” (NLT)
King Solomon’s judgment between the mothers assured the Israelites they were being ruled by a just and fair king capable of making tough decisions. His pronouncement reflected God and His wisdom.
What do people see when they look at us? What is our reputation among God’s people? Reputation is the estimation in which a person or thing is held by the community or public. There are times people around me see anything but Jesus in my actions, thoughts, words, and desires. When I care too much about fitting in with the crowd, cut a driver off for a front row parking space, or yell at my kids for moving slowly, I don’t show the world God’s humility, love, or patience.
So how do we go about applying His Word to our lives so our insides and outsides match up with His character? It starts with making wise decisions with the way we spend money, how we divide our time, the things we watch and listen to, and the words we think and say. Yet, we don’t act kindly, speak graciously, choose wisely, or do anything so people will applaud or think highly of us. Nope. Instead of being concerned with our reputation—we’re concerned with representing Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “So we are Christ’s ambassadors.” (NLT) Our actions can help bring others to Christ for the first time or back to Him if they’ve wandered away. What we say and how we say it can show our children and spouse the grace and love of Christ. And how we choose to spend our time by serving others reveals His hope and faithfulness. Through our deeds and speech, you and I can help give Jesus the right reputation: a loving God, caring Father, gracious provider, and wise King.
Today, let’s make a point to have the words of our mouth, mediations of our heart, and actions of our life mirror God. We can positively reflect Him in our community. Then, when others look at us, they will see our heavenly Father.