Reputation

<<character>>

What is generally said or believed about a person or thing. It is the estimate that other people form of us, based on the outward representation of the inner quality of character – what we really are.

Habits and character make us who we are and are  what people judge us by.  We should develop and consistently live by good character qualities, work habits and people skills with our private lives matching what we are in public (Est 9:4). Do I have a reputation for honesty, being true to my word, being hardworking, helpful, loving and wise?  Consistent habits, developed over a period of time, build a good reputation so others know what to expect but this can be destroyed instantly by a single unwise decision (1 Cor 10:12). Am I continually building into my life desirable qualities of integrity and Godliness, then living these out? Jesus said you will recognise the true quality of a thing by its fruit – that which is a natural outcome of its existence over a period (Mt 7:15-20).  Am I known for bearing Godly fruit?

Do not try and build a façade or give a false impression as this hypocritical stance sooner or later will be disclosed for what it is (Mt 10:26; Heb 4:13). Especially with your relationship with God, be honest – after all He knows more about us than we know ourselves. Often our reputation arrives before we do (Ruth 2:10,11; Mk 1:28; Rom 1:8; 1 Thes 1:8). When people talk about us what is spread around?

Reputation can also change for the better as did Paul’s, “He once persecuted us but now preaches the gospel” (Gal 1:23). From the initial decision to change there must be a continual follow through of transformation that is sustained by His grace. It was said of Cornelius, a Roman army official “He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people” (Act 10:22).

A Christian, as a follower of Christ, is to be known by their love for other Christians (Jn 13:35). Is this an accurate assessment of my life? We are guardians of the reputation of Jesus Christ. Am I a good ambassador? Keep a clear conscience so those who would speak evil of you will be ashamed (1 Pet 2:12, 3:16). A good name is better than riches,

 What am I known for? How do                                   others view me?

however let others praise you – don’t brag yourself (Prov 22:1, 27:2; Act 16:2).

Jesus voluntarily laid aside His reputation (His Holy and divine office) and became a man taking upon His sinless body our sin, suffering a cruel death in our place (Phil 2:7).  He also associated with people of questionable character.  This was not to share in their evil purposes but rather to present to them a better way of life (Mk 2:16,17). While it is difficult to remain silent when others attack us and our reputation, both David and Jesus showed it is possible (Ps 38:13,14; Mt 27:12-14).

One qualification for someone desiring to become a church overseer or elder is that they must have a good reputation with those who are not Christians (1 Tim 3:7). In the early church even those chosen for practical tasks were of high reputation (Act 6:3-6).

We should follow the example of the Berean believers who were known for confirming by Scripture what they had been taught (Act 17:11). Am I known as a person who has a good understanding of the Bible and can accurately share its message with others because of my close relationship with its primary author and living out it’s message? (2 Tim 2:15). Many people in the Bible are commended or remembered because of their faith, with Abraham being known as the friend of God (Heb 11:4-40; Jas 2:23).

See also: character, habits, lifestyle, name.

 


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