The Witness Stands
"A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold."
Although there are many wonderful gifts and benefits to us in this world, thanks to God's goodness, it is interesting that Scripture points us to the importance of a good name. Not just something to strive for, but something to CHOOSE, above riches, and above favor.
It leads us to understand that, while there is nothing wrong with wealth, or receiving good things, benefits, and such, we are settling for less if we compromise our good name for these lesser things. In these times, we see people scurrying about, intent on gaining their "first million" by the time they are a certain age, or grabbing at all of the power and authority they can get. Yet, they are striving for leftovers, rather than the greatest prize, next to salvation. A good name.
A good name and good reputation are more than just a personal gain. They are a gain for the Kingdom. How many of us have seen situations where it seems that someone is so pious, so spiritual, so close to God, and then a scandal erupts, or we find something out about them that is completely counter to what we thought was authenticity? It surely has happened in each of our lives. It leaves us frustrated, empty and hollow. Because if that person can't get it right, what hope is there for us? This can lead to others being disillusioned and profoundly disappointed. Many have turned away from things of faith for less than this.
If a person or group is in the public spotlight, it is more important than ever to be transparent, authentic and honest. A good witness, and one that people can believe in is greater than gold, more precious than fame. A good name is to be cherished and protected. Our witness stands or falls on who we are when we are not in the spotlight. When the world is a dark place, and things are tough, and disappointment looms, THAT is the witness others will closely watch and emulate. Or, if disappointed, will turn away empty handed from the joy of the faith and relationship in Christ that could have been theirs. I wonder, in Eternity, how many will have been lost due to the actions and words of others. Realizing it is still their decision, there is no denying we play a large part in inviting someone into the Kingdom, or causing them to run the other way. For good or bad, the witness stands, and remains long after the sin or the victory has been claimed.
Be cautious of your life and your words. Be mindful of your behavior and how your heart either closes to others, or reaches out to grab and embrace them, inviting them into the life of freedom that you enjoy. Strive to be authentic, available and real. Being true to yourself is actually being true to the God we love. Do your best always. It won't always work, but if we don't try, it will never work. And when you have done all you can, rest in the knowledge that you will have tried your best. Even if you don't see the fruit now, that does not mean the seed you planted won't grow to maturity under the care of another down the road. It is never wasted. Never give up trying. When all else fails, the witness stands.