I’ve Heard About You
For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you . . . Ephesians 1:15-16
My wife and I have slightly different memories of the moment we met, but this is my blog, so here’s my recollection of the event. Just out of high school, I was working at a summer camp, when I came around the corner and ran into the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen. I came up with this opening line, “Hi, my name’s Scott”. She responded with a cool, “I know who you are”, and walked away. Whatever that meant, it was clear that I had some unfortunate reputation which had preceded me. Maybe it was that reputation, or maybe it was my mullet, but it took seven long years of chasing (and a haircut) to convince her to marry me.
As amusing as that may be, it illustrates that we all, for better or worse, have some reputation. Sometimes it’s fair and sometimes it’s not, but there’s a collective opinion that others hold about us. Some of us have an unhealthy preoccupation with our status in the eyes of others. Some of us however, fool ourselves. If we think we’re one thing and everyone else thinks we’re another, we’re likely not being honest about who we really are.
Paul doesn’t command us to live only for reputation, but in today’s passage, he does mention how the Ephesians reputation had impacted him. He heard of their great faith and love for each other, and he thanked God for it. In turn, he wanted them to know what others were saying about them. The Ephesians had a Godly reputation, which Paul celebrated.
What’s our reputation? Is it something to be celebrated? Or would we be embarrassed to know what everyone thinks of us?
I know that my own reputation has gone from pretty good to pretty awful. I was a reasonably well-respected ER physician, and then, due to my self-destructive behaviors, was soon known only for my addiction. Now, I’d like to think that I’m known more for my faith and recovery than my disaster.
Again, we’re not commanded to live only for our reputation, but there’s a reason that others think of us the way they do. Do we live only for ourselves, doing whatever we want? Do we engage in inappropriate behavior that gives cause for others to talk about us? Or do we simply do what’s right, loving God and loving those around us? Whether we like it or not, we all have some reputation. For better or worse, we’ve probably earned it.