Posted by: SandreS | July 7, 2009

Paul Severed from: Reputation

Zeal (Philippians 3:6)

Paul was a true zealot. He practiced exactly what he believed. A majority of Israelites rejected their Messiah, but where was their action? Paul had been moving up the religious, political and social ladder and had developed quite a reputation – one that far exceeded those of his opponents – “Concerning zeal, persecuting the church.”

Reputation had been something of great value to Paul, until he met Christ. Many men can never let go of their reputation, of their long history of “honorable” activity – how others view them, what others think of them is very important – but, sadly, reputation keeps them in bondage from being able to move on in the wonderful things of God.

Reputation is such a subtle tool used by the Adversary to keep men “in check.” It will keep them from learning, progressing and growing, because first they will have to admit to having been wrong, and then proceed to correctinhg their errors.

Some men are so filled with the pride of their past zeal that they will live in the past, self-proclaiming their former accomplishments. They will proudly speak of their many years of never having changed. “I have taught the same thing for 40 years! I have never changed my message!” Sadly in their pride of zealous reputation, they do not realize that this speaks of a life of stagnation in the human quagmire of status and repute. That others are impressed is of such great value to them.

Paul looked back too, but that he might count it “dung” (i.e., waste).

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ (Philippians 3:7-8)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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