We as Christians must always be mindful of how others perceive us. We certainly do not want to be guilty of putting on a fake front or one that could be considered hypocritical behavior. We are required to be genuine in our dealings with others. We must have integrity in our words and behavior. We must have honesty in dealing with others. And we must have purity in our lives.
There are many passages in the scriptures that deal with each of these character traits. The integrity of our character is demonstrated by speaking and living according to the word of God. Even godless people can have a measure of integrity among those whom they deal with. All it takes is following through with their word, and doing what they say they will do. As Christians we must be the type of people that others will commend for our integrity.
As far as honesty goes, we all know what it means. To do justice (Micah 6:8) is one of the requirements of what God expects for everyone. We certainly do not need a reputation of dishonesty. That means nobody trusts us, and if we are going to be like Jesus, we must be trustworthy. If we are honest with people, they will learn to trust our judgment and what we have to say. It is easier to teach someone the truth if they trust our sincere love of their soul.
Purity is a character trait that really trumps all the others. Without being pure in life and behavior, all other traits are worthless. Peter told Christians that their behavior was to be exemplary before non-believers. 1 Peter 2:12 "Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may on account of your goods deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation". Paul said that our speech should be seasoned as it were with salt. Colossians 4:6 "Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person". Jesus explained that a weightier amount of our judgment is based upon how we treat others. (Matthew 25:36-41) The Ecclesiastes writer tells us that a good name is better than a good ointment (Eccl. 7:1). Our name is associated with us, and if the community or workplace does not appreciate you for your integrity, they certainly will not listen to you try to give them instruction about doing God's will. Our name is also associated with Jesus, and we certainly do not want to tarnish or hurt that name. So let us examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith as we should be, because as Christians, we are in Christ, and God dwells with us. Let us behave like God and Christ are the most important things in our life, and live as an example to others by letting our lights shine for the purpose of glorifying God.
By Carey Scott
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