From here on in, do what I tell you to do, because it's bad for my reputation, you understand?
Okay, I've got to brag on my kids just a bit. My oldest two are in elementary school and are doing well. In fact, they even recently won some awards.
Sarah won the Hunt Hound class award for Honesty.
Rachel won the Hunt Hound class award for Overall Behavior.
I've wondered why that is such a big deal to me, why I'm particularly pleased when my children are recognized for positive things. I think it's because they are the family representatives, in their school, for example.
Wherever they go, whatever they do, they will always be representatives of our family. Consequently, their actions will always reflect on us as their parents.
When their behavior is suspect, it reflects poorly on us, as though we're slackers as parents. When their behavior is spectacular, it reflects positively on us.
But, the same is true for those claiming to be Christians. We represent the family wherever we go, whatever we do. We represent the Father wherever we go, whatever we do. We represent our Lord Christ wherever we go, whatever we do.
We are Christ's ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20), representatives of His kingdom as we live in this one. Just as the "ugly American" overseas jades the perception of others via guilt by association, so we dishonor not our country, but our Lord with suspect behavior.
Why do we call Him, "Lord," but don't do what He says? (Luke 6:46) When we don't do what He tells us to do, it's bad for His reputation.
We are to be holy, just as He is holy. That's our task as we represent a kingdom vastly different from any here on earth.
Are you reflecting His glory or bringing shame and disgrace on the family name? You may not with an award for honesty or overall behavior, but you just may one day hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matt 25:14-30).