Christian, what is your reputation?

Earlier in John’s letter to Gaius, we saw that people were reporting to John that Gaius was walking in the truth.  That was a part of Gaius’s reputation.  He wasn’t known for being loose with the word, but rather for striving to live according to it.

Then, we see that he had done a faithful thing in all his efforts for certain missionaries in the church, though they were strangers.

Next, we read that these missionaries testified to his love before the church.  These missionaries walked away from Gaius’s house feeling loved, to the point that when they got to the assembly of the saints, they talked about his love.

So, we don’t know much about Gaius, but what we do know is that he walked faithfully in Christ and that he was loving.  This is what he has gone down in history for.  This is his reputation to the end of the age.

Sheep, what is your reputation?  Now, it’s not that we should be so focused on our reputation for the sake of our reputation.  That’s just pride.  But what people are saying about us is a fruit of whether or not we are walking in the truth.  And we should certainly concern ourselves with walking in the truth.

Let it be said of you that you are walking in the truth.  And one of the most important aspects of that is this: may others also testify about your love.  Love is critical in a Christian’s life.  Paul says that out of faith, hope, and love, the greatest is love.  Jesus said that they will know that we are His disciples because of our love for one another.  He also said that just as He has loved us, so we ought to love one another.

Examine yourself, sheep.  Do other Christians testify about your love?  Are you known for being loving?  Or are you known for being knowledgable, but arrogant?  Are you known for being gifted, but haughty?  By God’s grace and for His glory, may your reputation be that which is becoming a follower of Christ.

With that said, to those who are perishing, we will always smell like death to them.  But even to unbelievers, even if they hate our message, may it be said that we were compassionate, that we were humble, that we preached the gospel not for our own sake, but for the sake of Christ and for the sake of others.

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