I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. [Revelation 3:1 ESV]
I so wish that I did not understand what it means to have a reputation. Brings back so many thoughts. Dark ones. Images of superiority. Thinking I knew more about the bible than others. And falling hard when I began to understand how little I trusted God in my heart.
Our religious egos are so often inflated by our works. The way that God may use us sometimes creates a superficial reputation. In a sense we start believing we are more than divine vessels. Our journey becomes more about trusting our brains than trusting in the Lord.
Fortunately religious egos and reputations are so often no match for life. My trust in my brain began to ebb as I began to deal with suffering. Empathetic compassion began to take hold of me. My concerns about reputation were being replaced with concern for others.
Teach us Lord. Use the things that we suffer to make us like you.
... this devotion is part of a series from the book of Revelation