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January 9, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“But made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”—Philippians 2:7–8 (NKJV)
Reputation . . . It’s everything, right? Webster’s defines it as, “The common opinion that people have about someone or something.” This is what most people care about: what others think of them. It has everything to do with what we’re known for, negatively or positively. And we try so hard to uphold a certain reputation because everyone cares about the opinions of others . . . except one person.
Jesus Christ disregarded reputation altogether! How is this possible? Only someone who is divine could actually do it. When Jesus came to Earth, He gave up his deity—basically His true essence since the beginning of time. While on Earth, He cared only about one thing: the way His Father viewed Him, not people.
The crazy thing is that most of us only care about what others think of us and disregard what God says about us! But Jesus had a perfect understanding of how His Father viewed Him, and this set Him apart from anyone in all of humanity. In the gospels, it’s evident that when Jesus called God His Father it angered many. People considered this to be blasphemous, but He was just proclaiming the truth.
Because of this rock solid foundation in His reputation before His Father, what others thought of Him—or even accused Him of—didn’t faze Him because He only cared about one opinion. Because of this, He was free to do anything and everything that was asked of Him by God. Most of us avoid doing things God asks us to do because we’re afraid of what others might think of us. But Jesus didn’t have this problem. He was obedient in every way, and as we see in this verse, He even chose to die out of obedience to God’s will!
I’m not sure about you, but if you’re anything like me then God’s will must seem crazy sometimes. Believe me, sometimes it is—but only if we try to understand it with our finite minds. We must learn to give up our reputation and disregard what others will think of us in order to obtain the greater mysteries of God through faithful obedience. And you know what? People may think you’re crazy! But are you going to live in fear of your reputation, or will you submit when God is asking you to be obedient? Whose opinion will you value?
DIG: What is God signaling for you to do?
DISCOVER: Are you afraid of what others might think of you? Is this hindering your ability to be obedient?
DISPLAY: Choose today to be obedient; take a step of faith. In doing so, God promises He’ll show up!