My response to Day 2:
The Greek word rendered “good reputation” in Hebrews 11:2 NLT is martureo, which can be generally translated as being spoken well of. So the NLT has an OK choice of words here.
How important is it that I have a good reputation? Honestly, it’s not that important to me. I have a strong individualist streak, so I don’t give much thought to how others perceive me. While this has enabled me to do things a lot can’t, it’s probably done some harm too. I was raised being told not to care what others think of me, but the truth is, reputation does matter. People simply will not wait to meet you in order to have their beliefs about you challenged, you need to establish a good air around you.
Who am I trying to impress? I’m not really sure I’m trying to impress anyone. There’s some people I want to earn the favor of. But I’m not going out of my way to do it.
The NLT rendering of Hebrews 11:6 is pretty faithful to the Greek so I don’t have any nitpicking to do there.
The part of 11:6 that stands out is the part that says in order to draw near to God you must believe he rewards those who seeks him. It reminds me of Matthew 6:33, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” I’ve always understood that God rewards those who live for him, in theory anyway. I haven’t seen it play out much in my life though.
I believe this will be a recurring theme throughout this devotional. Claims that God rewards people and does things. Claims which just haven’t played out as true in my life. If God’s been rewarding me these last few years, he’s been doing an awfully lackluster job of it.
The belief that God rewards me for seeking him could be a game changer, if I could believe it. Not only is it intrinsically good to be living for God, I get the bonus of being rewarded for my seeking. Double the good! Unfortunately after ten years of faith I haven’t seen a whole lot in terms of rewards so color me cynical.