Uphold the Family Name
Read Philippians 1:27 (ESV)
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.
To what degree do you think your reputation matters as a Christian?
When you were growing up did your family ever tell you to “uphold the family name?” Or maybe your teacher told you to remember that you are representing the whole school before going out on a field trip. She didn’t want the bad behavior of a few to reflect poorly on the entire school.
But does your reputation as a Christian really matter? The Bible says yes. In Proverbs 22:1 it says, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.” But as Christians, why do we care what other people think of us? After all, in Galatians 1:10, Paul said we should not seek the approval of man but of God. We certainly aren’t meant to be people-pleasers and we should never compromise the Word of God to appease others! No matter what, we need to remain obedient and faithful to God’s commands. So why does our reputation matter?
Because of the Name that we represent. As Christians, we bear the name of Jesus Christ. In everything that we say and in everything that we do, we want to bring glory and honor to His name. That is what Paul is saying in today’s verse. He urged the Philippians to conduct themselves in a manner that is worthy of the name of Christ.
Consider the role that ambassadors play in the government. They represent our entire country to foreigners. In the same way, we represent Christ to those around us. In 2 Corinthians 6:3-4, Paul put it this way: “We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way.” Paul did not want the believers’ lifestyles to discredit the ministry. He knew that inconsistencies between how Christians behave and what the Bible says can become a stumbling block for the watching world.
When we live out what we say we believe and we seek to walk obediently and faithfully to the Word of God, we are conducting ourselves in a manner that is worthy of the Gospel. Does that mean everyone will like us and think highly of us? Of course not! After all, Jesus truly was perfect. He was above reproach in every way. Still, He was hated. And yet, no one could make a legitimate accusation against Him. He was blameless whether they liked it or not.
Friends, our reputation is not about us and it’s not about making everyone like us. It is about upholding our Father’s name. It is about bringing glory and honor to Him. It is about living faithful, obedient lives with integrity and our lifestyles being consistent with God’s Word. When you call yourself a Christian and strive to live your life in a manner worthy of that name, not everyone will like you. But you will be representing Christ and the family of God well. And that’s what matters.
Lord, I want to be a faithful ambassador for You. I want to represent You well to the world. Help me to live my life with integrity and in a manner that is worthy of Your Great Name. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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