What Are You Known For?

      What's the first thing that people say when your name or ministry is mentioned? Do you know what you are really remembered for?  After people read that wonderful book, see that powerful choreography or play or hear your "dope" poetry, what are people saying about you?  Our reputation is just as important as our talents and gifts. There are too many ministries today that are recognized as great, while carrying tainted reputations. Some of what is being said may be exaggerated, but if there is even a small amount of truth to it, it's time to think about what needs to be changed.

By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 13:35 (NKJV)

      It is one thing to be known for what we do, but quite another to be known for who we are. God is working on all of us, so none of us can point out anyone else's faults without first looking at ourselves. It's time for self -examination. If we find ourselves always snapping at others when we are stressed, maybe we are too busy, and need to ask for help. Moses could not lead the Israelites alone, he appointed elders to be in charge of the masses of people that he was responsible for getting to the Promised Land (Ex.18:25).  If we feel the need to talk about others behind their backs, we need to find out what is lacking in our own lives. We can make beautiful garments and put on grand productions, but weave tangled knots of confusion if our way of life does not match up to our craft.
      There is a dance minister on the East Coast who is well-known for his powerful ministry and exciting classes. He has danced with a renowned professional company in New York, and has his own company. The first thing people speak of after commenting on his phenomenal dancing is his graciousness towards everyone, and how they can't wait to be in his classes that are always full. Students don't want to leave his presence at the end of  class, because of what they receive from him spiritually as well as technically.  They feel loved, not abused. They are empowered, not dismantled.  People are drawn to him because of his loving heart. That is the ministry of Christ! Why have a fantastic public ministry, while behind the scenes people are being crushed by our behavior? Even if they never say anything about it, God sees what we do, and He hears everything that we say. Being a leader or having a title does not give us the right to harm anyone with our words or actions. We will have to answer to God for every person whom we have injured. If we are guilty of any of these things, we need to pray and ask for more of the fruit of the Spirit to be in our lives.

God's Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways.
Gal 5:22-23 (CEV)

Nothing is hidden from God! He sees through everything, and we will have to tell him the truth.
Hebrews 4:13 (CEV)

     It has been said that our gifts determine our direction in life, but our character determines how far we will go with our gifts. It's never too late to humble ourselves, check our reputations, make changes,  pray for healing and make amends wherever we can. Let's make sure that our names remind people of God's goodness!

A good reputation and respect are worth much more than silver and gold.
 Proverbs 22:1 (CEV)

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