Day 667 – But you are dead
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I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.
Legendary basketball coach John Wooden (1910–2010) believed that character is far more important than reputation. “Your reputation is what you’re perceived to be by others,” Coach Wooden often told his players, “but your character is what you really are. You’re the only one that knows your character. You can fool others, but you can’t fool yourself.”
In the book of Revelation, we find the words of the risen Christ to seven churches in Asia. To the church in Sardis, Jesus said, “I know your works, that you have a name [reputation] that you are alive, but you are dead” (Rev. 3:1). The Lord knew the truth about them, and no doubt deep down they knew it too. Jesus told them to wake up and strengthen the spiritual life inside them that was about to die (v.2). He urged them to remember the truth they had received, obey it, then turn around and start moving in a new direction (v.3).
When the Lord shows us what’s wrong in our lives, He always provides a remedy for change. When we turn from our sins, He forgives and strengthens us to start over.
How liberating to exchange a false spiritual reputation for the true, life-giving character that comes from knowing Christ our Lord!
Men talk too much of gold and fame,
And not enough about a name;
And yet a good name’s better far
Than all earth’s glistening jewels are.
The true test of our character is what we do when no one is watching.
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