COLUMN — Living above reproach
Sometimes things happen in life and our tongue slips, we behave out of character or just mess up.
For example, what we said may have not been quite what we meant to say. No matter what we say, “we are in the thick of it” because we failed to choose wisely. As a Christ follower the Holy Spirit will get our attention and let us know that we must make our mistake right. Other times, he protects us and takes care of it for us.
The word says, “Do all things without complaining or arguments; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding firmly the word of life, so that on the day of Christ I can take pride because I did not run in vain nor labor in vain.” (Philippians 2:14-16)
The definition for reproach according to Merrriam Webster’s dictionary is an expression of rebuke, or for conduct that is blameworthy or in need of amendment. Simplified, reproach means to discredit, disgrace, or disapprove. To be “above reproach” would mean a person is blameless. John Calvin offers a helpful distinction between the “ordinary vices” that are found in all men, even in those of the highest character and those sins that give a man a “disgraceful name” and stain his reputation. To be “above reproach” does not mean sinless perfection, but rather a life of honor and integrity. It is maturing in God.
Some older Christians are not spiritually mature. They are spiritual children walking around the earth in aged bodies. Although they may have made a profession as a Christ follower, they have not taken the time to mature. Yes, they know scriptures. They attend church and may even teach a class, but fail to allow the Holy Spirit to truly change their hearts. As a positive, we can learn from their mistakes and allow God to work within us and through us that he might receive the glory and honor.
God has called all Christ followers to strive to live “above reproach.” God desires us to grow in our relationship with him, that we become more and more like Him. What I mean is we filter our decisions, our actions, our views and our tongues through what God says about how those particulars should be.
Ultimately, we should be one big “glory” to God. I am asking God this week to help us to glorify his name — in all those “particulars” and every single day.
Yvette Perrin is a columnist for The Charlotte Gazette. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.