Acts 6:3 (KJV)
Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
When the apostles were looking for men who would help serve tables while they concentrated on the ministry of prayer and the word of God. The first quality they sought from the men who would take this responsibility is that such men must have an honest report. I am even surprised that this quality came before being full of the Holy ghost among the expected qualities. This same quality was required of anyone who desired the office a bishop and deacon by Paul (I Timothy 3: 7-10).
To have an honest report means to have a good testimony of one character within the church and outside of the church. Before mobile phones came, it wasn’t easy to take a selfie (a picture of oneself, taken by oneself). Even now, with smartphones, it is preferable to give such a phone to another person to take a picture of you. As we interact with believers and unbelievers, they all have a report of who we are. Someone was discussing a servant of God with me, and he said, don’t believe all she says because she amplifies. This is the report of people close to him. Another minister was lodged in a hotel, and the ministry that hosted him got a detailed bill showing that their guest minister ordered liquor on many occasions during the week programme. That unpleasant report is with both the hotel and the church.
III John 1:12 (KJV)
Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true.
This report was written by John the beloved, an elder in the New Testament church, and it covered four areas.
1. All Men: All men gave a good testimony of Demetrius. You remember that during the trial of Jesus,, his accuser’s testimony did not agree.
And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none.
For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together.
Here, the reason the chief priest found none was revealed. It was because Jesus had a good report with all men. He did no one evil. This teaching does not suggest that you become a pleaser of men. Instead, while pleasing the Lord, all men will see the good life we are living.
2. The truth: Jesus, who is the way, the truth and life, gave a good report of Demetrius. This report is the most credible. You may wonder why how did John the beloved saw Jesus’ report concerning Demetrius? The answer is written in John 15:39
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
Demetrius bore good fruit, and from there, John the beloved deduced the report of Jesus. This is in contrast with Diotrephes, who was in the same Asian church, but he broke away from the apostolic fellowship and did not submit to the elders. In addition, inasmuch John is a man of vision, I am not ruling out him seeing a revelation in which Jesus told him of Demetrius.
3. We also: This refers to the elders in the church in Jerusalem.
4. Ye also: The epistle of John was written to the church in Asia, and the recipient of the letter is Gaius. Therefore, the ye may be a pronoun covering the brethren in Asia, including Gaius.
Reflect on which of the four areas where you lacked good report, allow God, brethren and family help you work on it.