Monday, October 1, 2012

The Value of Our Reputation

Our reputation.  Sometimes it’s all we have. 

Material things can break, fade away, tarnish, or fall apart. Relationships come and go.  But our reputation – it’s something we carry with us always.

I think many of us forget or fail to recognize just how important our reputation is. When we are constantly late – that affects our reputation. When we are flippant in our speech – that affects how others see us and view our heart.  When we dress in an impure or sexual manner – that affects our reputation. All of it does.

I have always put a high value on my reputation.  Of course I’ve messed up and made mistakes – I’m human! But I’ve tried to quickly set about and repair any damage that was done. I’ve brought things out into the open at times just so that Satan couldn’t use something that was hidden in the dark.

There are so many “grey” areas in life as a Christian. Things that the Bible doesn’t clearly speak against. Yet when I look at some of these things, I always have to evaluate what it will do to my reputation and my witness as a follower of the Lord. After all, I am His representative! Will it damage my reputation? Will it damage His?

Fleeting fun isn’t worth ruining my reputation. Being accepted superficially for how I dress, what I say, or how I act isn’t worth ruining my reputation. For when I give access to my heart and soul in this way I only end up feeling guilty and empty inside because I’ve sold a little piece of myself. And that never feels good.

In general, I think people have grown colder and tougher. They don’t seem to care about how others view them. Maybe that exterior is something built to protect themselves. The thing is, when you damage someone’s view of who you are, you also damage yourself. Because regaining a good image is hard to do.

We can’t “own” what everyone in the world thinks about us. Not everyone will like us and not everyone will see into our hearts or understand our motives. But we CAN work at being honorable people. We can try to have integrity wherever we are and build a good reputation. It feels good, it works in our favor, it’s a good representation of our Lord and Savior, and sometimes it brings us opportunities in life simply because of how we have presented ourselves.

It’s priceless.

And wherever you’re at today; it’s not too late to rebuild your reputation. It may just take some time and effort. You never know – in the process, you may just discover some hidden jewels about yourself that God has been waiting to uncover.

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