1 Timothy 5:24-25 – The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden.
We are known by our actions. What we do is the fruit of who we are. As we watch people, both those we know and those that we do not, we form opinions about them based on what they do. This is not always right, but that does not change the fact that it is true. It’s like the old saying, “Fool me once; shame on you. Fool me twice; shame on me.” We make judgment calls on people based their actions. It’s natural.
This verse is talking about reputations. It goes beyond forming an opinion about someone based on something that they just did; it talks about forming an opinion based on a pattern of deeds. It tells us that men’s actions may reach the place of judgment ahead of them.
Take Paul, for instance. When he was still known as Saul he had a reputation of persecuting Christians. Some he would throw in jail and others he would see killed. When he was on the road to Damascus the Christians that were there already knew that he was coming. Then, after his conversion, God asked Ananias to visit him and Ananias actually questioned God to make sure they were talking about the same person. This is an instance of sin building a reputation for a person, but what about good deeds.
Jesus is the best example of good deeds reaching a place before He actually does. When Jesus would enter into a city there were already people waiting to hear Him. His reputation of good deeds and miracles had traveled ahead and prepared the way for Him.
This concept works for you as well. Your deeds will create a reputation for you. People will form an opinion based on what they see and hear about you. Now your situation may not be to the extreme like these two examples, but the principle is still the same. It reminds us here that even those deeds that are less obvious will be revealed.
It is important that we act in accordance with what we believe. Do good all the time, whether people are watching or not. What is your reputation? What do your deeds say about you?