Do everything without complaining and arguing,so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Philippians 2:14-15

Your life and the choices you make send a message. What is yours now? What do you want it to be?

This was the question I posed to a friend in a conversation years ago. They had come to me complaining about the way someone was treating them and I was ready for them to grow in their personal awareness and hopefully make some adjustments.

Whether we are ready to admit it or not, reputation matters. It has an impact on our life and while it is not everything, it is significant. It’s significant because trust is the very foundation of relationships and it turns out in life we need solid relationships if we are going to make it. Whether the challenge is emotional, physical, financial, social or any other kind, there will be moments where we’ll be vulnerable and need some help. Will others be willing to step in? Will they be willing to consider what we say? It all depends on the sum of the interactions we’ve had up until this point. As Paul thinks about the success of the work the church is doing in Philippi, he knows this could be a problem so he addresses it. We would do well to do the same.

Questions for reflection: 

  1. What words would people use to describe you?
  2. How often do you find yourself complaining to someone else? What impact do you think it has on your relationship and the way they see you?
  3. What changes do you need to make in your life that would allow you to increase your ability to build trust with the people around you?