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How Will You Be Remembered?
by pamela spurling

Proverbs 22.1 "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold." Our pastor has been teaching from the Sermon on the Mount on Sunday mornings. It has been a rich and convicting series of messages for which I have been very grateful---as they have prompted much thought and study time. Originally, this week I had a message for you on reputation entitled, "A crown to her husband." I thought I would send this first and then send that one next time.

I have been thinking an awful lot about reputation... Our pastor’s sermons each week are always thought provoking--- and marvelously, they frequently coincide with lessons I am studying or preparing, or books or articles that I am reading that have come my way. I’ve been thinking of a question I heard recently: "How do you want to be remembered?" Well, I have been thinking about that---and in reality, it matters not how we *want* to be remembered, but how we *will be* remembered! The memories of us after we are gone will surely be as varied as the people who will have them, but essentially, we will be remembered for who we were, what we said and did, *not* necessarily for how we *wanted* to be remembered.

Thinking about how my behavior affects the reputation of my family, and how our children’s behavior often reflects our behavior, makes me question many things in my life---maybe you do this, too, in your life. There is another reputation that you and I as Christian women need to remember to protect and honor... Yes... you would have been right if you said: "The LORD." Today I want to share with you about another group our behavior often affects/reflects, and that is our sisters in Christ... other Christian women in our neighborhood, church or community. Our behavior demonstrates to the watching world how Christian women ‘do things’ or how Christian women look or behave. Our actions, attitudes, and behavior says to others a great deal about our husbands... our churches... our faith. Reputation matters... Good character matters. What is our behavior saying about the gospel of the LORD Jesus? The Word says "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your food works and praise your Father which is in heaven." (Mt. 5.16) It is right to do well, it is right to shine as lights in this world, it is right to reflect the glory of the LORD in our lives, and our reputation should be such that others know this of us. If they don’t... then the light of Jesus is not be reflected by us.

I think of poor choices I have made, I think of some of the sentences I have uttered, the clothing I have worn, the times I have been upset about my children’s behavior, or even at other situations over which I have no control. I think of times I had opportunity to let the light of the LORD shine through me and I failed in the moment. When I could have reflected the LORD, I reflected self. When I could have demonstrated graciousness, I expressed selfishness. I kept in mind neither my reputation nor the LORD’s reputation---that’s the flesh: thinking only of its own, carelessly regarding the thoughts and feelings of others. It’s so foolish to waste the time and opportunities the LORD has given us---this is where wisdom and *application* is so needful!!

I grieve when I think of all the different young people I know who have allowed themselves to indulge in things that have damaged or destroyed their character---many whose reputations now precede them when their names come up in conversation. I often wonder how some of the damaged reputations will ever be restored. Then I think of how the LORD has worked in the lives of women I know who seemed at one time, hopelessly irredeemable and lost. What did God do? He fairly scooped them up out of the pit and road bound for hell and redeemed their lives from that certain destruction. As I have told you before... although I didn’t think my life was so terribly bad or rebellious, it matters not what we’ve actually done or haven’t done---without the LORD Jesus and salvation through faith in Him, we were all separated from God by sin, hopelessly lost; our reputations may have appeared to be squeaky clean, but before the Living God we were destined for hell.

When I get up each morning, and I thank the LORD for what He has done for me I am amazed... and so very grateful to Him. What has the LORD done for you? Were you at one time appearing to be hopelessly "irredeemable?" What a marvelous thing that from the foundation of the world---you were chosen in Him. Have you thanked Him today for the marvelous gift of life He has given you?

Are there things in your life that ought to be changed or done differently so that the glory of the LORD may be more readily seen in your life? Have you been hiding your light under a bushel? Of what value is light when it remains hidden? This week, wherever we go, let’s think about how we appear and what we are saying to those around us... in our living rooms, in our kitchens---will we joyfully serve those the LORD has placed in our lives? As we greet members at church, will we give a genuine welcoming smile? As we stand in the long line at the busy grocery store... will we stand up tall and straight will we respond graciously? Will we joyfully let another, with fewer items, go in front of us even if it means we will run a bit later? Each day will we be determined to be compassionate and look bright and fresh---keeping in mind the reputation of the Christian woman all around us? Will we keep in mind that we are reflecting Jesus to the lost world?

You’d be surprised who’s watching you... wondering how a Christian woman would respond and do things! In church a number of years ago, a man said to me that he so appreciated my response several weeks earlier to one of our children when that little one spilled the juice from his communion cup. I hadn’t given a moments consideration to who saw or what they thought... I was concerned for the feelings of that child. But someone did see... and weeks later commented... I could only smile at that man and tell him I sure loved that child. Later, I thought: ohmygoodness... others see *everything* and *nothing* we do... and we never really know which it is---everything or nothing... but God sees!

pamela spurling - http://ww.AChristianHome.com - The Welcome Home - 2001

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