|Mary, the mother of Jesus|
And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. (Matthew 1:19 NASB)
Our reputation, in many cases, can be a result of our wrong choices, but not always. In other instances, like Mary the mother of our Lord, her reputation was the result of embracing the will of God.
Reputation is what people think about us. Character is what God knows about us. Being the recipient of the virgin birth caused Mary to lose her good reputation. Loren Cunningham, the founder of Youth With A Mission, once said, “There never has been anyone who has done anything significant for God, who has not first lost their reputation.” The bigger that Mary became in her pregnancy, the more people talked, and that is how in works in the world. The more that you do for the Lord, the more people will try to discredit you. Why does God allow this to happen? Possibly, it smashes the great hindrance for being useful to the Master, our pride. It forces us to perform our service to please our heavenly Father, not for the recognition of man. Moral purity is reflected by what we do when no one is watching. Godly character develops when our actions are motivated by what God thinks and not just what people see. At times it is easy to imitate righteousness. Hypocrisy promotes a status without the corresponding virtue. Mary, to the contrary, exercised faith and obedience in spite of the consequences to her reputation.
Mary knew the truth about how she conceived her baby, and so did God, and that was enough. Mary feared God and not the people. Therefore, she lost her reputation, but we gained the Savior of this world.
Image used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing