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Putting Your Reputation on the Line

Following the 2020 Presidential Election, both sides claimed victory. In the 6 states still in doubt on election night, Trump was ahead before the counting suddenly paused. When the counting restarted, everything fell in Biden’s favor. This swift momentum change altered the media’s narrative and began a slew of negative news stories. Twenty four hours later, I decided to take a leave of absence, tuning out all radio and television news for the past two weeks. As I tuned back in today, Trump’s lawyer’s are being chastised, doxed and harassed for challenging the election results. In other words, for those lawyer’s who stick around, they are putting their reputations on the line.

Beloved, I implore you as aliens and strangers and exiles [in this world] to abstain from the sensual urges (the evil desires, the passions of the flesh, your lower nature) that wage war against the soul, 1 Peter 2:11.

One of Jesus’ disciples shares his perspective on reputations in the passage above and below. As a member of Jesus’ inner circle, Peter wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. Unfortunately, Peter often spoke first without thinking things through, resulting in numerous rebukes by Jesus. Despite his strong leadership in the book of Acts, Peter is often remembered as the disciple who publicly denied knowing Jesus. This one blunder haunted Peter for the rest of his life. John 21:15-18 records one of Peter’s final encounters with Jesus prior to his ascension into heaven. While Jesus restores this fallen disciple, Peter was embarrassed. Thus, when he was sentenced to death on a cross, Peter chose to be crucified upside down as he didn’t feel worthy enough to die in the same manner as Jesus.

Conduct yourselves properly (honorably, righteously) among the Gentiles, so that, although they may slander you as evildoers, [yet] they may by witnessing your good deeds [come to] glorify God in the day of inspection [when God shall look upon you wanderers as a pastor or shepherd looks over his flock], 1 Peter 2:12.

Regardless of who will be the 46th President of the United States, the world is watching how you conduct yourself. If you are a Christian, you will be scrutinized more than most people as some co-workers, family members and neighbors will be waiting for you to fall. Are you willing to put your reputation on the line or will you be like some of Trump’s lawyer’s who have quit when outside pressure got too great? According to Peter, sensual urges will intensify causing a spiritual battle within your soul. Known for saying, “you have to live in the world, but not of it,” Peter is likely dwelling on his past failures. Nobody is forcing you to follow Jesus, but if you want to experience an abundant life, John 10:10, you’ll never know until you are willing to put your reputation on the line.

by Jay Mankus

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