To be sure, reputations are not always accurate. Yet, in the long run we usually get a reputation that is close to what we deserve. The inner man shows himself often enough that our reputation at least roughly matches our character.
We do trust in our riches. Our words prove it. America’s national retirement plan is called “Social Security.” We call our investments “securities” and “trusts,” as if we can trust them for a secure future. We also make money a god in additional ways. We give it the title of deity: “the Almighty Dollar.” We make money a judge. When someone asks, “What is he worth?” he or she means, “How much money, how many assets, does he have?” We speak as if a man’s financial assets determine his worth.
Spiritual authority depends more on care given than on power wielded.
God’s covenant faithfulness is our measure, our norm. The faithful love of Christ models the Christian man’s marriage covenant. Jesus does not love the church because it is pure and spotless – He purifies the church in order to make it spotless. Just so, godly husbands love their wives despite their wives’ blemishes, not until they get blemishes. Thus we do not size up our wives each week to decide if we will love them a while longer. The idea of ever-fresh decisions, even decisions to stay faithful, is naïve.