Your Reputation Precedes You

2 Thessalonians 1

Friday, September 2

In a small school, the teachers seem to know who most people are, whether it is because of their achievements or their families.  At the beginning of each new school year, they try to figure out if they know you.  However, for them to know who you are, somebody else has had to tell them about you, and whatever they’ve been told is the reputation that you start with, in that class.  It’s great if they had positive things to say about you, but for those who didn’t have great things said about them, it can hurt.


Verse 4 of 2 Thessalonians 1 says, “Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.”  Paul is telling the Thessalonians that he tells all the other believers about their great faith.  It is one thing for Paul to go tell the Thessalonians that they are doing really well as they stand firm in their faith, but it is a whole other thing when he goes to tell everyone else about it.


Is your faith so evident that people talk about it with others?  The Thessalonians had faith like that and we should too.  The Thessalonians’ faith was strong enough that the other believers were talking about it among themselves, but what’s even more important is that those who aren’t believers notice our faith.  We need to work to be that light in other people’s lives that they might talk about and wonder about it.


Matthew 5:16 says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  We need to make sure that when we do try to make our faith evident, it isn’t so that we are praised for it.  We need to make sure that God is the one who is getting all the glory for our faith while we try to be a light to others.  When we do this, we will have a reputation that goes before us, just like many students do in a small school, that will bring glory to God.

-Kaitlyn Hamilton

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

  1. Who do you know who is known for a growing faith and love and perseverance in the midst of trials and persecution? Thank God for them. And, like Paul, you can also tell them that you thank God for them.
  2. What do you think your fellow employees or classmates or teachers at church or school would say about you? What do you think your neighbors would say about you? What do you think the cashier would say about you? Are they right? How did you get this reputation?
  3. What is Paul’s main point in the rest of 2 Thessalonians (verses 5-12)?

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