B.C. Forbes reminds us, "Real riches are the riches possessed inside." I am going to say some of us have riches galore, while others may only be beginning to see those riches building bit by bit in their lives. According to God's Word, true riches come as we give Christ his rightful place in our lives - when he is at the center of our lives, all the riches of heaven are poured into us. We become 'enriched' individuals at the foot of the cross.
Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold. The rich and poor have this in common: The Lord made them both. A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. True humility and fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor, and long life. (Proverbs 22:1-4)
We have been looking on what is on the 'inside' of a man - for that is what really matters. If the 'fool inside' is the thing we feed the most, heeding its every whim and fancy, then the reputation one will possess is likely less than 'stellar'. Deal with the 'fool inside' and what begins to happen is a transformation of reputation. Some think there is no way 'back' from a bad reputation, but I believe Christ paves the way for us.
Having Christ in the 'right place' in our lives means we give him the reins. I know how hard that can truly be because I am a 'rein taker'. I don't like to give up 'control', but if you can learn anything from this 'rein taker' today, let it be this: God isn't going to settle for being our 'co-pilot' - he is meant to be our PILOT. For those of you who think this means we no longer think for ourselves, that is not the case. It just means we run our thinking through the filters of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and the still small voice of our heavenly Father.
A good reputation can be like gold, but how does gold really gain value? Through the refining process. How does a good reputation come? Through the refining process! We may want it to be instantaneous, but it is 'worked out' daily in our times with Jesus. The fires burn hotter some days than others - probably because there is something 'within' that needs to 'come out' in order for the greatest of riches to be left behind. We may not like the refining process, but true riches aren't just 'produced' without it. Just sayin!