Once upon a time, I was asked to give a reference for someone in the Church I lead. I was a little uncomfortable about how I was going to respond since I hardly knew the person. The reference was to include information about specific topics and matters of character. This made it even more complex as a couple of stories about this person that had been relayed to me were not favorable.
I took some time and thought about it, prayed for wisdom, and looked for a way to keep my integrity and be honest. Finally, it hit me. What I wrote was, “I have never seen this person be unkind. They have never disrespected authority in my presence. There has never been a time where I witnessed them being disloyal.” Basically, I wrote a reference on the absence of actions.
If other people were to ask about my character, the whole experience has me wondering if they would be greeted by a list of Godly, positive actions or an incomplete list of unwitnessed character traits. A follower of Jesus should let their actions speak for their belief and integrity.
I wonder, if your preacher were asked to give a reference for you, what would they say? Have they seen you living out your convictions, or would they be forced to speak from a void?