Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | May 17, 2022

Making A Reputation For Yourself

“But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before.” Ruth 2:11

In the amazing, history-changing Bible story of Ruth, a young woman gives up her false gods and idols to follow the True and Living God of her new husband. And after the tragic death of her husband, she decided to follow her mother-in-law back (Naomi) to Bethlehem Judah (the hometown of Ruth’s in-laws). She committed herself to the Sovereign Lord and to her new family (which after three deaths and one abandonment, consisted of just Ruth and Naomi). Although she was a foreigner in her new homeland—and would generally have been considered an outcast—Ruth was faithful to God and her mother-in-law, and she set out to work in the fields (per the Jewish law) to feed Naomi and herself.

And Ruth’s character was noticed by her new community. In fact, her faithfulness and diligence were noticed by one man in particular, and the trajectory of this relationship led to the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem and foreshadowed the salvation of non-Jews (like most of us)! If you haven’t read this real-life Cinderella story, I suggest you check it out—it’s better than any Hallmark Channel Christmas movie.

But the point here is the reputation that Ruth made for herself. When she gave her life to God, turning away from the gods of Moab (her home city), she was all in. When Naomi was returning to Bethlehem, Ruth could have gone back to her own family and old life. That would have been easier, no doubt. But she chose to stay with Naomi—and stay faithful to the Lord. In doing so, she followed His Word in obedience. She was gentle and kind, but she also labored with the best of the field workers to ensure that she and Naomi didn’t starve. She didn’t speak negatively about her new town—although she was probably initially treated not-so-nicely as a Moabitess. She didn’t gripe about her mother-in-law (who was actually quite bitter toward life and God at that point—and she also reminded Ruth relentlessly that she was a “foreigner”). She didn’t whine about working hard. Her faith in God’s sovereignty was strong, and her attitude was positive.

Despite the hardcore challenges she faced, Ruth’s character and actions gave her a good reputation. So, this begs the question: What kind of reputation do we have? In the workplace, do others notice our commitment to the Lord because our life reflects obedience to His Word? Do we show kindness to our family members, even when their words and actions are hurtful toward us? And at church, do we love our brothers and sisters as we’re exhorted to do in the Bible, avoiding gossip and griping?

If a stranger followed us around, observing our every move for a week—or even a day—what type of reputation would we make for ourselves? Would our moniker of “Christ-follower” be evident, or would we seamlessly “fit in” to the cultural worldliness around us?

“Once surrendered to You, Lord, I am to be in this world but not of it. Lord, help me follow You, Your Word, and Your will for my life, differentiating myself from the “norms” of today’s society.”


For His Glory


Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Life

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