Don’t follow a person based on their reputation because a man or a woman’s character may not match their reputation. If you must, follow a person based on their character. Jesus said to the Church at Sardis in Rev.3:1, “I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.” Jesus was referring to the believers in Sardis and He told them to wake up otherwise He will come against them! The message is still relevant to the church today – there are those, whether in church leadership, pastoral ministry or not, who have a reputation of being alive but are actually dead in the eyes of God. These are strong words straight out of the Bible, sending shivers down our spines, and they serve to remind us of who we really are. Are we true followers of Christ or not? Are we serving and leading out of not only sincere hearts but out of true devotion to the Lord or are we doing it out of something carnal? (Because sincerity can sometimes be misguided – one could be sincere but sincerely wrong.) These words of Jesus bring us back to the core truths about our relationship with God, our calling, our work and ministry. Who are we serving? Who do we seek to please? Whose kingdom are we benefitting? Who do we worship?