Saturday, August 27, 2016

What Peter's Denial Teaches About Reputation

Peter’s Denial Related to Our Reputation: Matthew 26:69-75

When a servant girl asked if he was with Jesus of Galilee, first, Peter said he didn’t know what she was talking about. Another servant girl announced that Peter was with Jesus of Nazareth. Second, Peter, with an oath, denied her saying he did not know the man. A crowd said surely you are one of them (an apostle) because your accent gives you away. Third, Peter started calling down curses and swore to them he did not know the man. 

Peter’s reputation as an apostle and follower of Jesus preceded him. At the time, Peter did no want that reputation. But, he was with Jesus and the people knew it. 

When I read this, I can’t believe what was going through Peter’s mind that he did not want to be associated with Jesus. I will, however, admit that my life is not in immediate danger if I acknowledge Jesus. I would hope I wouldn’t deny Him, but no one has tested me with a gun to my head or with a lynch mob or stoning.

Back to reputation. What reputation goes before you?
  1. Good Reputation is honorable, trustworthy, considerate, respectful. When you see someone who you believe has these qualities, you want to say hello. Deep down you may want to be seen with them. 
  2. Bad Reputation, on the other hand, is not trustworthy, is not honorable, is to considerate and not respectful. They may just use people to get what they want or use the other person’s reputation to advance themselves. 

So, at your core, what kind of person are you? What reputation is preceding you? There are two different perspectives: The reputation you think you have and the reputation you actually have. The ideal view is that the views match one another. 

Negative attitude will stay in denial, keep the status quo, turn a blind eye or be indifferent.
Positive attitude can aspire to be better, glean any information from others and stay respectful even in the face of someone who is hurtful. 

Why did Peter not want Jesus’ reputation attributed to him?  Peter denied a good reputation as we think of it today. Back then they were calling good, bad--oh wait, they do that today too. Think why you do not want Jesus’ reputation attributed to you today. Are you seeking the world's approval or God's? Are you scared of man's reaction? Peter was worried about man and the mob and he went outside and wept bitterly. 

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