Tracy Adventist Church





The COVID-19 pandemic is a complex issue, to put it mildly. The vast majority of people do not have the ability, or the access, to fully understand what is going on. So, as with any other major societal issue, the crowd turns to experts to help explain things and guide us. Unfortunately, there are experts that contradict each other. One doctor says one thing, another doctor says another thing. One researcher says this, another research says that. It can be very confusing for most people to know who to listen to.

While there are always going to be close-minded people that only seek out information from experts who confirm their pre-existing biases, there are plenty of us who are open-minded that simply want to know who to listen to. One of the best indicators if an expert is worth your time and attention is his or her credibility and reputation. Do experts have the respect of their peers (has their past behavior disqualified them in their community)? Do they have the proper education and training (having a degree doesn’t mean they are qualified to speak on every topic)? Do they have something to personally gain (money, career advancement, etc.)? What kind of results have their careers produced (have they done anything to tangibly make things better for others)? Obviously, we should be wary of listening to any experts who have issues with their credibility and reputation.

This is a large reason why Christ desires His followers to guard our reputations, because it enhances our trustworthiness. People aren’t going to be nearly as open to hearing about the gospel from us if we lack credibility. Others don’t have to think we are perfect, but they do need to see evidence that we have been transformed – that we are a credible source of knowledge about the life-changing power of grace. “Be careful how you behave among your unsaved neighbors; for then, even if they are suspicious of you and talk against you, they will end up praising God for your good works when Christ returns” (1 Peter 2:12). May we live our lives in such a way that people will be eager to hear the gospel from us!

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