It’s hard to keep track of all the things that people say about us. Even with technology’s help, the sheer increase in the number of channels for which people to say things – true or untrue – makes it nearly impossible to manage. As politicians and celebrities have found out, this is why it’s so important that who you are in private is who you are in public. Eventually the truth of one’s character comes out, and reputation is built accordingly.
For those who follow Christ, we’re building for ourselves both an Earthly and a Heavenly reputation. After all, the work that we are here doing isn’t primarily about things that matter on this Earth. Instead our focus is on eternity, and therefore we want to do the work that matters there. Wouldn’t it be great if our reputation in Heaven was the same as the one that the disciple John had? In Revelation 22:9 we get a little insight into what the Heavenly buzz about John must have been. The angel of the Lord says that he is a”fellow servant” of John. In other words – the work that John is doing and the work of the angel are one in the same – they are both bringing glory to the King.
This is quite the reputation! Even the angels are saying that John is doing the work of the Kingdom and that his efforts are focused on the same things that they are focused on – displaying the greatness of our God. He is known as a servant – working with the angels to bring God praise. And the rest of the verse continues that all “those who keep the words of this book” are also fellow servants. So if we want this same reputation – we must keep the Word of God. In doing so, we are serving right alongside the Heavenly host.
It may be difficult to keep track of what people say about us here on Earth but the Bible makes it clear that if we want a stellar reputation in Heaven, we must diligently follow the Scripture God has graciously given us. We won’t do it perfectly, as John didn’t either, but obedience should increasingly characterize our lives. As this is true, may our lives, and our reputation, bring God praise.