Recently, I watched a television show where one of the main character’s friends was accused of committing a horrendous crime. Even though the initial evidence seemed pretty solid, the main character held to his conviction that his friend could never have done such a thing—he wasn’t that kind of man. Of course, it was television, and his friend was innocent. However, for a while, the police weren’t sure. Only those who knew him personally knew this wasn’t the suspect’s character.
Oddly enough, while I was watching the show, something popped up on my social media feed that seemed entirely out of context for one of our friends. I remember thinking, “This is so out of character for them. I just can’t believe they’d be where these pictures say they are doing the things these photos say they are doing.” (They weren’t actually in the photos, someone was live-streaming an event.).
This went on for days. Every time I saw it, I thought, “This just isn’t the person we know. Maybe they were hacked.” Finally, Sunday came, and I could see that our friend was in his church, preaching, nowhere near the questionable events on my social media feed.
It turned out it wasn’t them. I unfollowed the imposter and found my friend’s actual account. As soon as I saw their real account, I thought, “Yep, that’s the person we know.”
It reminded me of the quote: Live in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you, no one would believe it.
1 Peter 2:12 says it this way: “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”
In a world that’s become accustomed to Christian scandals that prove to be true, we need to make every endeavor to be the exception. We should strive to be people of integrity and character…people who faithfully follow Jesus at all times in every area of our lives.
Our goal should be to resemble my friend who has such a good reputation that it was almost impossible to believe they would do anything to disgrace the reputation of Jesus. We should do all we can to avoid being like the man who announced his deconstruction from Christianity, and everyone who knew him said, “Are you really surprised?”
I’d be heartbroken if anyone ever said that about me.
That’s why Paul warns us:
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. (Philippians 2:12-16)
Let’s choose to live our lives so that people would never believe we’d dishonor the name of Christ.
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry.