May We Be Wise
There are certain things that I do not want people to associate with who I am. At the very least there are things that I don’t want to be true. Perhaps number one on this list is hypocrisy. I don’t want people to think I’m a hypocrite. I can’t control what others think of me (too bad, right?) but I can make sure it isn’t true. I know I need to live out the things that I teach from God’s Word. Perhaps number two on this list is foolishness. I don’t want people to think I’m a fool. Are you with me on this one? What a terrible thing to be called! What a terrible opinion to have of someone!
I’m not a fan of worrying about what other people think. We are all servants of God, and if someone else judges us unfairly that’s on them. “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand” (Romans 14:4). However, the Bible also teaches that we shouldn’t act in ways that encourage others to think poorly of us. Sometimes negative opinions have been well earned. Take this example in scripture: “If you argue your case with a neighbor, do not betray another man’s confidence, or he who hears it may shame you and you will never lose your bad reputation” (Proverbs 25:9-10). And that is a problem if that man ever wants to be a leader of the Church. 1 Timothy 3:7 says that Church leaders need to have a good reputation.
If we act foolishly we’re going to get a bad reputation. So how do we avoid that? We need a guide for wise living. Fortunately, we have one. When I read the book of Proverbs I always get an earful on how to avoid being a fool. I suggest you give it a read too. There’s no doubt in my mind that God wants His children to be wise. Foolishness turns people away, but wisdom brings them near. Let’s act in ways that bring people near – and then we can point them to God.