Do You Deserve Praise?
I wonder how often are we guilty of accepting undeserved admiration for our "clean" lives? It's quite easy to give the impression of being virtuous; simply do nothing difficult, controversial, or upsetting to people. But Jesus said we are to love people who don't necessarily agree with us, who don't share our values, who don't even like you. Loves requires that we get involved in the messy situations of people's lives. Jesus was regularly in trouble with religious leaders who were more concerned about keeping their own reputations clean than they were about the spiritual condition of those they were supposed to care for. Jesus and His disciples were looked upon as unclean for mixing with sinners when they were simply attempting to rescue people from their destructive way of life.
If you are a true disciple of Jesus you are willing to risk your own reputation to help others out of the grip of sin. It appears to me that Christ sends us out to bring others in.