“Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God. More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause; mighty are those who would destroy me, those who attack me with lies. What I did not steal must I now restore? O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you. Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me…O God of Israel;”
Full text: Psalm 69:1-12
King David was drowning in his troubles. He had been cast aside by his friends and family…and his reputation was under attack.
Damage to our reputation can be uniquely excruciating. It doesn’t matter whether we prize our family name or whether we are simply seeking to make a name for ourselves. Our name is our resumé. Kill it or damage it and we are in danger of a full-blown identity crisis.
But how do we respond when our reputation is being assaulted?
Do we react in anger and rain insults on all? Do we cover up our flaws and pretend to be perfect? Or do we succumb to despair?
David did none of these. In his distress, David’s mind was not on himself…he was not preoccupied with his own honor. His concern was for the Lord’s name.
So he confessed his faults…and prayed that there would be no collateral damage from his own folly that could defame the God of Israel.
The Son of David was also deeply humiliated when He was nailed to a cross like a petty criminal. He also prayed for His enemies, offering them all the benefits of His good name.
So again, how do we respond when our good name is being defamed, misrepresented…black listed?
However we respond, we must remember that we are not representing ourselves only. We are representing the one we serve also…Jesus Christ.
And our response may be the only way someone gets to meet Jesus Christ. Our response may be the only Bible someone gets to read.
Therefore, we must be responsible in our response because we are someone’s living Word.
Lord Jesus, we confess that we have sought too much to make a name for ourselves, and have considered too little the name You have given us. You, whose name is above all names, made Yourself of no reputation. You humbled Yourself, taking the form of a servant, and endured the violent scorn of those to whom You offered Your title. Through Your sacrifice, You have written Your name on our foreheads, and written our names, indelibly, in Your Book of Life. Give us the wisdom and faith necessary to humbly receive Your exaltation. Teach us by the Spirit to reflect the traits associated with You… Amen!