While she was alive my mother was known as the generous lady. If you had a problem, a pressing need, some issue you couldn’t see yourself out of on your own, it was common knowledge that you went to ‘the lady with the orphanage’ and if there was any way that she could help you, she would.
Even when there was no money to give out, there was always a sympathetic ear, a hug, a shared cry, and for many these gestures of heartfelt empathy were enough, because they realized someone actually did care, someone actually did take an interest.
We garner reputations by the way we live our lives both within the household of faith and without. Are you known as the guy with the face tattoo and eye piercings, or the guy who spends much of his free time reading to the elderly in the retirement home? Are you known as the lady who screamed at the bag boy for bagging your groceries in paper instead of plastic bags, or as the lady who makes Christmas boxes throughout the year for the poor kids in the community?
Our actions define us more than our words ever will. I can tell everyone within earshot that I am generous and magnanimous, that I give of myself, of my time, and of my resources, or I can do these things consistently without bothering to see if anyone is noticing, and eventually you will be known for it, because men notice.
Men likewise notice when we call ourselves believers, Christians, followers of Christ, and soldiers of the cross, yet equal them in their thirst for debauchery and lawlessness.
It is the same within the household of faith.
If you are always the one comforting the bruised and broken, if you are always the one reaching out a hand to help those who have stumbled, the body will take note, and you will be identified as one who has fervent love for the brethren, and as one who realizes that when one member suffers, the whole body suffers.
Likewise, if you are always the one beating a brother when he’s down, if you’re always the one trying to trip everyone else up just to get a few paces ahead of the crowd, it will be noted, and you will likewise be labeled as what you rightly are.
Are you a defender of the Gospel, or are you a cowardly lemming trying to keep from being seen and singled out? Your actions will determine how you are perceived, not the words you speak about yourself.
I am a man of words, but I also realize the futility of words, especially when it comes to the titles we afford ourselves and the accolades we shower upon ourselves. There’s a reason public relations firms make so much money, and it’s not because they tell the truth about their clients.
It is because those who hire such companies have no substantial accomplishments, and are not known for anything they’ve done in life, that they must resort to fanciful reinterpretations of their endeavors, and downright lies to make them seem more than they are.An individual whose accomplishments are evident need not brag or boast about themselves, nor do they need to publicize what they do. They will be known organically, by their very nature, because eventually who you are, what you are, will be made clear to one and all, whether to your glory or to your shame.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.