Phillipians 2:1-11, “1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”
If I could take a step outside of me, I’d say that I have the reputation of being a good person, willing to help out and to give, generally friendly, but keeping to myself. Just like my family on my dad’s side, really. The rest of my family is much the same, but there’s an added ornery streak. My brother’s reputation is that of being good with computers. My sister is the only one that’s more social than the rest of us. My mom has a good head for business and can haggle with the best of them, but my dad has a tendency to go with the flow even to a fault.
The King James says that Jesus made himself of no reputation, that’s the verse here where Jesus made himself nothing. I was once told that we all have reputations, either good or bad. We can choose to prove people right or prove people wrong. I once had a really bad reputation. It would have been really easy to comply and let things go downhill, but I always had a little too much pride in my family’s good name. Perhaps it was a good thing because I wasn’t about to be the first member of my family to tarnish that name.
Christians understand that we’re born with tarnished names. It’s only when we take on Jesus’ name that we take on his reputation, which should be nothing. Sometimes though, that remnant of ourselves wants to use to the church softball team to show off that athletic reputation or that Sunday school to show off our intelectual reputation. I wonder how much more we could get done if we weren’t so busy proving our reptations one way or the other.