Luke 2:52, 1 Samuel 2:26
Zara Gandon reflects on the importance of having a good reputation.
'And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. (Luke 2:52)
I've pondered this verse many times in the last decade and have come to realise that such truth can be found here. On a side note this isn't the first time we see a verse like this in scripture. 1 Samuel 2:26 says 'And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favour with the Lord and with people.' Luke is drawing parallels between Samuel and Jesus. What parallels can you think of?
How are we meant to live our lives? Should we care about what others think of us? These questions are ones that I often hear asked. Well I believe these verses give us food for thought and prayer. As Christians we often talk a lot about living our lives in a way that glorifies God and that we shouldn't care about our earthly reputation. Whilst I understand the sentiment on this I don't believe it is entirely biblical.
Let me tell you why: The word stature in this verse means reputation. Although I'm sure Jesus grew in physical stature too! If Jesus grew in wisdom, favour and reputation with God and man then as followers of Him, we should too.
As Christians we can feel very comfortable with growing in wisdom,
favour and reputation with God but this passage also says man. Do you
desire to grow in wisdom, favour and reputation with man? Do you pray
that you and your family, friends and church will grow in wisdom,
favour and reputation with man?
The Bible clearly states that whatever we do we do it for God. I believe desiring to grow in favour with man is a godly principle as long as it doesn't overtake our desire to please God.
Growing in wisdom, favour and stature with man is a way to build God's kingdom. As a nation, we desperately need Christians of a good reputation. We need them in politics, in business, in the media and the arts. Just think if we have people with a Godly reputation in these sectors of society what could happen?
Sometimes we can feel pressurised to go into work that involves helping people like healthcare, education, the charity sector and the church. I work in these fields. These are not more "Christian" areas of society to work in. It is not wrong to make money or to be famous. It is what we do with our money and fame that is important.
Maybe today you are thinking about your career. Why don't you ask God where you are called to have a good reputation? Maybe you are a parent or you spend a lot of time with people considering what to do with their lives. Why not encourage them to be a person of good reputation and Godly wisdom, why not pray Luke 2:52 over them.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
St Andrew's Church
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