Never repay anyone evil for evil. Take thought for what is right and gracious and proper in the sight of everyone.
This verse begins by telling us to repay evil with good. It is an instruction given by Jesus while on earth. Although we are instructed to do so because it is the proper thing to do, that is not the only reason for this command. The second part of this verse gives us another reason, which is to do the right thing in the sight of everyone. Yes, this is telling us to do to the right thing before man. Why should we be concerned with what people think?
When we profess that Christ is our savior, we become his ambassadors. We come in the name of our king as citizens of his kingdom, diplomats in this world. As such, it is for us to stand as a representation of Christ and a manifestation of his character and love. The Father wants us to walk properly in the sight of men because our lives should be a reflection of the Son. When they see me, they should see Jesus. But if I walk as the world walks, if I repay evil with evil and forsake righteousness and grace, then I only reflect the character of the world and consequently misrepresent Christ.
My reputation is of no consequence. The reputation of Jesus Christ, however, is of every consequence. The Father grants us the privilege of carrying on the work of the Son on earth, and the expectation is that we complete this work faithfully for the sake of Christ. Father, remind us that the lives we live should be a reflection of your Son, and grant us the grace to complete our work faithfully for everyone to see.