Above Reproach

I had a lot of great conversations after last Sunday’s message.  I hope people are still processing the message and at least having the conversation with God about whether not they should be drinking or not.  If it’s OK to drink socially, then we should not be scared to spend some time with God concerning the issue.  If we are scared he might take our fun away, then we will shrink back from bringing up the issue in his presence.  Our lives should be consumed with things that we have no problem talking to God about.

The bigger issue with that message and the whole “You Asked for It” series is we have, as Christians, revealed how much we still want to rebel just a little bit.  When most of the questions submitted have centered around how close we can get to sin and not sin, we are in a dangerous position.

The last few months, God has been really pounding a biblical concept in my head over and over again: above reproach.

Paul uses the term when describing Christian leaders (1 Tim 3:2; Titus 1:6-7), and he always pushed for it in the life of believers (Eph 4:1).  His goal wasn’t to see how much he could get away with, but how close he could get to Jesus.

The opposite of living above reproach:

  • Dating relationships not going “all the way” but everything else in between
  • Replying about your favorite movie, “there’s not that many bad scenes in it”
  • “I don’t mean to gossip but…”
  • Using the term “Christian liberty” to cover up a rebellious heart
  • “The reason I said that was because so-and-so did this to me…”
  • Justifying self-spending while unwilling to give it away to others
  • Your public devotion to God exceeds your private commitment

I don’t want to do the bare minimum.  I don’t want to squeeze by.  I want to live above reproach.

I don’t want my family and friends and my church family just to avoid the major sins, I want them to desire holiness more than anything else in this world.

Jesus raised the bar.  He said “Be perfect, like your Heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt 5:48).  While we’ll never attain that in this lifetime, why would we just use the excuse, “I’m just a sinner.”  We must strive that from what others see to only what God knows is pleasing to him.

Today, what if we stopped seeing what we could get by with and what if we started living, in God’s power, above reproach?  What could happen to the cause of Christ?  What could happen to your community if you lived in such a way that didn’t just get by, but you represented Jesus well.

Today’s goal: live above reproach.

Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.

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1 Comment

  1. Hello Travis,

    So what do you believe then? (1.) Can a Christian leader be above reproach and drink in moderation (i.e. never get drunk)? (2.) Can a Christian layman be above reproach and drink in moderation (i.e. never get drunk)? I would be greatly interested in your thoughts. I do not go to your church so I have not listened to the message. Nor have I had the time to listen/watch it online (appreciate the link!). I have read through the notes and love the proliferation of Bible verses! I especially love that you talked about John 2 and 1 Tim 5:23. Some other good verses include Proverbs 31:4-5 (and we must deal with 31:6-7).

    I look forward to listening to you!

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