5 Minute Study on Rebuilding Our Reputation
*If you are able Read Acts 9:26-31
Key Verse: And when he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus. (Acts 9:26-27)
Paul had a lot to overcome. He did not have a good reputation. In fact, he had a terrible reputation and not one of the apostles nor Christian community had any reason not think he was anything but a threat and danger. The only thing they had known him to do was persecute Christians and cause heartache and fear. If it wasn’t for Barnabas, they may never had accepted him. Even with Barnabas’ word and vouching for Paul’s new lease on life because of his extraordinary encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul still had to do things in line with his new way of living, thinking, and behavior. Building a new reputation did not come easily or overnight but he as we read the New Testament and Paul’s letters to the churches, we can see how he remained consistent and earned the respect of the apostles and Christian community.
For Self-Examination and Application:
Have you ever had to rebuild your own reputation because of something you once did or a way you used to live? What did it take for others to trust you?
Is there someone who has earned a “bad” reputation in your circle and need to rebuild their reputation? Is there something you can do to help like Barnabas did for Paul?
How might God want to use you in this way? How can you pray for those involved?
Do you believe when we are sincere and earnestly desire to do so, God will help us reestablish ourselves and gain the respect of others if we are patient and consistent in our behavior?
Jesus, you know how important a good reputation is. Sometimes we mess up and instead of earning the trust of others we do the opposite. Help us to have a heart that is sincere about rebuilding our reputation and show us how to go about doing so. Help us also to accept—even assist those who desire to reestablish themselves in a good way; may we become their Barnabas. Amen