Is “dishonoring the name of the LORD” a big deal to you? Is representing Him to those around you your goal?
9 …Or I may become poor and steal and so dishonor the name of my God.
We are representatives of the LORD here on this earth. In fact, Christ makes His appeal for people to be reconciled to Him through us (2 Corinthians 5:20). EVERYTHING we say and do must be considered and run through a series of filters BEFORE we say/do them. Some of these filters are:
- Is it true?
- Is it appropriate?
- Is it uplifting?
- Have I asked the LORD if He wants me to say/do it?
One of my favorite passages for guiding my thoughts, words and actions is Philippians 4:8-9, “Finally, brothers and sisters [all of us], whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Notice the list: TNRPLAEP. Pronounced “tenorplape”. We THINK on these things before we act. The next thing that we do is LRH (I’ve no idea how to pronounce that), which is the action part and is learned through Paul’s letters, such as this one. The promise is that God’s peace will guide and guard our hearts. If we go back to verses 4-7, we get a great picture of this peace:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The progression goes like this: Rejoice and be gentle. Pray about everything while being thankful. The confidence we have that God has the situation well in hand gives us great peace. It’s a special peace that is wrapped up in His presence. Christ brings His peace with Him when He comes to us. We access that peace when we acknowledge Him in our hearts and lives. Daily. Continuously.
Let’s consider everything we think, say and do today as we represent Christ to those around us.
Abba, the best and greatest place to represent You is at home, especially during this week as we wait for electricity to be restored to my family. May You guide us GENTLY even as we learn and practice GENTLENESS to those around us. Empower us with Your mighty Spirit, O LORD. Amen.