I found this comment in a post and... while I'm not exactly sure what the protocol is on posting someones comment I figured I'd err on the side of letting you see it. :)
It was a post where a young preacher asked what advice you would offer to someone "if you only had three minutes to pass on advice".
I did edit out the first paragraph that was specific to the original blogger.
A user by the name of Codepoke wrote this:
20 years from now your life will be more than half over, and you’re going to look back on the first half, just like I am. Looking back, I find that most of the times I felt like what I was doing was “little,” it was the Spirit Who was moving me to do it. I am proud and thankful for every time I did one of those little things, and ashamed of how many times I focused on some big thing I thought was important. Usually those big things came from my imagination and ambition.
Moses slew that Egyptian because he thought he was supposed to help his people. It was his idea, and he spent 40 years recovering from that mindset. Saul haled the Christians because he thought he was supposed to help his God. He spent 7 years recovering from that mindset.
Don’t conquer the world. Don’t restore right doctrine in your generation. Don’t even set your congregation on the best path. Feed MaryJane. Comfort BillyBob. Visit old Aunt Sue, and find someone who needs to do some visiting and get him to visit Aunt Sue. Love people.
Destroy your reputation, not by admitting faults you’ve had, but by admitting faults you’re having. Especially weakness, fear, and doubt. Not from the pulpit where it can sound grand, but wisely and judiciously to mature individual brothers who can hurt you. They’re the only ones who can help you.
As I’ve been doing these things (as a layman) for the last 4 years, people have finally started blossoming around me. It’s scary and disappointing to be “mere,” but it’s wonderful to see people unfold to warmth.
Just like the blogger commented back to codepoke, the words "destroy your reputation" are the ones that hit me hard. Reputation has always been a big word for me. One of those special words that are almost as close to me as.. well... the words "trinity" "righteousness" and "forsake not the assembling".
Yes, you should be a person of good reputation. Paul went "first" to those of certain reputation.
But, at the same time when I searched the bible for the word "reputation" the one that stood out to me was this verse:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
It's not important that I come off as strong, or grounded, doubtless, and faithful. It's just important that every day I stand before God as the real Jeanette. No faking, it's worthless with Him anyway, but that little fact has never stopped me before. It's important that other real people, see me as a real person, struggling, believing, hoping, failing, and winning.
I appreciated codepokes comment, because it put out there for me, how foolish my definition of reputation is. I put emphasis on things you can have a reputation for, that don't necessarily help people. Because anyone can trust in a person that has shown themselves to be strong (just to clarify, I'm not saying I've EVER shown myself to be strong, but it was certainly a goal!), but how much greater is a person who leads others to trust in God because they have a reputation for trusting in God, showing GOD to be strong, not themselves.
Do you imagine that's why He said that in our weakness that's when He is strong?
Yet, the number one thing Christians try to hide is our weakness.
God help our backwards little minds.