Matthew 10:1-25; Leviticus 7-8; Proverbs 22
“Nobody likes you, sir.” I hear that from my students quite often. My response is, perhaps, stereotypical for teachers: “Doesn’t bother me. I’m not here to be liked. I’m here to teach you.” Oh, sure, I could get a lot of students to “like” me. I could forget trying to teach and let them play games on the computer all class period. That would make me “cool” in their eyes – but it would ruin my reputation. Kids would see me not as a teacher, but as an easy mark to avoid having to learn. “A good reputation is better than much wealth; high esteem is better than silver and gold.” (Proverbs 22:1) My father was a real estate agent. He was honest and ethical. We weren’t poor, but he explained to me many times as I was growing up how he could have made more money if he were just a little bit unethical. He reminded me again and again of the truth of this Proverb. When I ask the question “What is your reputation?” it’s asking more than “Do people like you?” The question about our reputation gets to the core of our being. Are you known for making money any way possible, or getting people to like you by cutting corners or are you known for doing the right thing because it is the right thing? We should be known as the kind of person who always do that which is right and show God’s mercy and grace while doing it.
Lord God, as I face decisions in the days ahead, help me to do that which is right in Your eyes. Let me do the right thing and show mercy and grace to others at the same time.