We are fooling ourselves if we think that people are not observing our lives beyond the platform. Many dancers don glorious garments, display perfectly coiffed hairstyles, and have rehearsed the answers in advance in response to praise received from those who witness the dances ("Well, bless the Lord!" "No, don't thank me, thank God!" --While inwardly relishing in the comments made to them about anointing and skilled technical execution and repeating them to all who will listen...). Away from the spotlight, who are we, really?
There will always be critics. The Word declares that we are blessed when persecuted for the sake of righteousness. What if the things being said about us are true? Are we also known as money-hungry? Mean-spirited? Difficult to work with? Unfaithful? Argumentative? Controlling? Manipulative? Divisive? Selfish? While none of us may want to confess to these areas of weakness, if we keep hearing people say the same things about our character over and over again, we need an emergency appointment with God so that he is able to give us a much needed transplant.
Our good works should be known by those we work with, as well as to our surrounding friends, families, and communities. We cannot be consumed with defending ourselves against those who persecute us without cause. Any character flaw that is not submitted to the Lord's correction will affect our ministries in the long run. As much as it is possible, we should seek to have a good name as a byproduct of living lives submitted to the Lord. A well-crafted advertising campaign is not what makes a great name. Let's aim to serve the Lord both in word and deed.
(New King James Bible Version)
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold.
[The Value of Practical Wisdom] A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of one’s birth
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.