Zacchaeus was killing it. As a Roman tax collector, he learned the art of extortion. He knew he was asking for more than Rome required, but what were his victims going to do about it? He could just turn them over to the authorities for tax evasion.
His tactics paid off—financially, at least. He was raking in money. But his scheming wasn’t earning him any friends. No matter how much wealth Zacchaeus built, his shady life continually undermined his financial success.
If you’re not careful, the same will be true of you. Your successes and accomplishments can be easily overshadowed by a disingenuous life. This is especially important for followers of Jesus, whom Paul refers to as “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20) because their very lives are making an appeal to others for God.
If you want to represent God well and point people to Jesus, Paul has three pieces of advice for you.