When wickedness comes, contempt comes also,
and with dishonor comes disgrace.
One would think that a truth so obvious would have a sobering affect on the wicked. And yet, far from avoiding behavior that leads to disgrace, they all the more pursue their immoral and wicked ways, even basking in the notoriety that results. For the wicked are also fools who mistake shame for honor and contempt for respect. They value the praise and respect of other fools and disdain the opinion of the wise and honorable. They also value being in the spotlight for whatever reason. If it must take wicked behavior to stand out, then so be it. Indeed, that is the behavior they enjoy most.
But we should desire an honorable reputation earned by exhibiting integrity, love for our neighbor, and devotion to our Lord. As Christians, we can expect to be slandered, but it should be just that – slander, and not a true report. Our neighbors ought to be perplexed by us, finding our beliefs odd and yet acknowledging that we are trustworthy, caring neighbors.
But the reputation most important is our reputation before God. He alone knows fully our hearts; he alone judges rightly; before him alone we will stand to give an account for our lives. Desire now to live in such a way that honors our Lord; for truly no better reward can we gain than to hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2022 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org