Definition: What is generally said, believed or judged about the character of a person or thing; notice by other people of some quality or ability.
1. A good reputation — provided it is for the right reasons — is of great value.
* Proverbs 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
* Ecclesiastes 7:1a A good name is better than precious ointment.
2. If we seek to please the Lord, a good reputation among His people will follow.
* Proverbs 3:3,4 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: 4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
* Acts 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
* Romans 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
* Romans 14:17,18 For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
* Romans 16:19a For your obedience is come abroad unto all men.
* 1 Corinthians 8:3 If any man love God, the same is known of Him.
* Philippians 2:29,30a Receive him [Epaphroditus, Paul’s co-worker] therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation: 30a Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life.
3. The Lord may even cause us to have public favor, at least temporarily, if it serves His purpose.
* Exodus 3:21 And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty.
* Exodus 11:3 And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants, and in the sight of the people.
* 1 Samuel 18:30b And it came to pass, after they went forth, that David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul; so that his name was much set by [well known].
* Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. [See also 1 Samuel 2:26.]
* Acts 2:46,47 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
4. But as Christians, we should not be overly concerned about our reputation in worldly society.
* Proverbs 20:6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?
* Proverbs 29:25a The fear of man bringeth a snare.
* Matthew 23:5-7 [The Pharisees were always making an outward show of their religious righteousness, but it didn’t impress Jesus, Who said:] But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments. 6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
* Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets.
* John 5:44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?
* Galatians 1:10 [Paul wrote:] For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
* 1 Thessalonians 2:4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the Gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
* James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the World is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
5. When we live godly lives, we can expect to be rejected by the world.
* Psalm 69:9 For the zeal of Thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached Thee are fallen upon me.
* Psalm 119:51 The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from Thy law.
* Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for My Name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
* Luke 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
* John 15:18-20 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 20 Remember the Word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.
* Acts 14:2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.
* Acts 28:22b For as concerning this sect [the Christians], we know that every where it is spoken against.
* 1 Corinthians 4:10,13 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. … 13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.
* 2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
* Hebrews 10:33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.
6. Jesus wasn’t concerned about His reputation with the ungodly.
* Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.
* Mark 9:12b It is written of the Son of man, that He must suffer many things, and be set at nought.
* John 5:41 I [Jesus] receive not honour from men.
* Philippians 2:5-8 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
* Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His Own blood, suffered without the gate.
7. It’s what the Lord thinks of us that really matters.
* John 12:26 If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be: if any man serve Me, him will My Father honour.
* Romans 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
* 2 Corinthians 5:9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him.
* 2 Corinthians 6:4,8a [Being honored of God, we learn both to abase and to abound.] But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, … 8a By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report.
* Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.
* 1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
8. Though we shouldn’t be concerned with our own reputation in the eyes of the world, we should be a good sample to them as Christians, as part of our witness.
* 2 Corinthians 6:3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed.
* Philippians 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.
* 1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
* 1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
* Titus 2:7,8 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, 8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
* 1 Peter 3:15,16 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
9. If we are willing to lose our reputation in this world for Christ’s sake, we will be rewarded eternally.
* Matthew 5:10-12 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in Heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
* Acts 5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His Name.
* 1 Timothy 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, Who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
* Hebrews 11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
* Hebrews 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.
* 1 Peter 4:14 If ye be reproached for the Name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified.
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