Taken from a post on Bible Gateway. Read the rest here.
Many people have reputations that can be summed in just a word or two. Thomas Edison: inventor. Jeff Foxworthy: hilarious. If someone summarized you in just a few words, how would they describe you? I was a Christian for years before I realized Jesus had specified exactly what my reputation should be.
“Remember the ways that I have loved you, and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways. Everyone will know you as My followers if you demonstrate your love to others.” (John 13:34b-35, The Voice)
Jesus said that as a person who follows Him, I should be known for loving other people the way He loved me. Every person I know thinks of himself as a loving person. I’ll bet you think of yourself that way, too. After all, you’re kind to strangers, don’t kick puppies, and sometimes even yield to other drivers. The problem with your self-assessment, though, is that you don’t get to decide what your reputation is. By definition, your reputation is determined by others. In fact, even your enemies play a part in deciding your reputation. That’s a scary thought.
So are people talking about how loving you are? I’m not asking whether you sometimes go on mission trips or donate to good causes. Mission trips are great, but when you have a better reputation with people two thousand miles away than the guy living right down the street, then that is a problem. If our love isn’t showing up outwardly in tangible ways in everyday life, then it’s not the kind of love that Jesus demonstrated for us. Loving like Jesus will impact your schedule, your budget, and your circle of friends. Before long, it will even impact your reputation.