Whatever Is Commendable
If something has a good report it is commendable because it is held in high regard for having a good reputation. Commonly this applies to professions or goods, but people work the same way because they too have a reputation for better or worse. For goods and services reputation is built by reviews, but with people their reputation goes by their name.
There are good names, such as the Barnabas, whose original name was Joseph. But he earned the name Barnabas because he built up a reputation of being generous and encouraging. There are ambiguous names, such as the apostles James and John who were named the sons of thunder by Jesus. These were the apostles who wanted to cast fire down on towns that failed to welcome Jesus and who became indignant at Jesus’ reply to preferential treatment (Mark 10:35-45). And then there are names with negative reputations such as Korah. The sons of Korah during the time of King David were the descendants of the man who went against God by trying to overthrow Moses. When people think of your name what emotions stir in their hearts? Do they think of God when they think of you?
Proverbs 22:1 explains how a good name is more valuable than any riches one can obtain. But don’t just strive for a good name, strive for the best name someone could ever go by: Christian. When people remember you as a Christian above all else, that is when you know that God through you has made a profound impact on them. Just don’t let the act of impacting others shift your focus away from the power and beauty of God. Taking focus off God creates an environment that will breed conceitedness or people-pleasing tendencies. A Christian is neither self-loving nor compliant to sin but bears the name of Christ in all that they say and do, because they are mindful of how that will affect other people’s perception of God and His gospel. When focusing on whatever is commendable it is for the glory of the all mighty God (Matthew 5:14-16).
Glorifying God by being commendable does not only entail what others speak about you, but also how you speak about others. The apostle Barnabas did not only focus on his own reputation but also sought and fought to encourage others. Barnabas did his best to believe the best in other people. In Acts 9 Barnabas spoke up and defended Paul as a new Christian to the other apostles. Barnabas did this again in Acts 14 when he defended John Mark to Paul after John abandoned his mission work halfway through, but then came back to Paul and Barnabas to head back with them. After Barnabas gave John Mark a second chance, there is reason to believe that John grew in his faith becoming a valuable person to the apostles. Paul in 2 Tim. 4:11 admits that Mark is useful to him in the ministry. It is a human struggle to want others to believe in and think well of oneself but not want others to have such thoughts and beliefs about someone else. But there is no grace, no compassion, and certainly no Godly love in acting in such a way. Seeking out and focusing on positives to cultivate in others takes work and a conscious effort that is going to feel impossible to do without God.
Abiding with God means you have the best tool for producing positivity in your heart. Staying positive does not entail ignoring issues or pretending all is fine. Positivity is choosing to fixate on what is uplifting and good in yourself and others. Be a family with others and show them the value God helps you see in their soul.
Inspired by: Philippians 4:8; Acts 4:34-37; Mark 3:17; Numbers 16; Acts 11:19-26; Acts 9:26-28; Acts 15:36-41; Ephesians 4:29; Colossians 4:6