The value of a good reputation

Saturday, September 8, 2018

By Ellen Shuck

"I don't care what other people think. It's my life. I'll do as I please." We hear these words often and, perhaps, we have uttered them, ourselves. What you do in life determines the regard others have of you. It isn't that you want to be a people pleaser, but there are certain ways of acting and relating to others that one is required to do. You must communicate in a particular way to survive in the world.

This doesn't mean that you must worry about everything you do, how you dress, and how you lead your life. Even though you may want to be popular, or you want to be accepted by those around, you must decide which road you desire to travel so you can be comfortable and fulfilled within yourself.

I believe the desire to be popular by making an impression on those who have lessor values is one of the most dangerous vices we can possess. You find yourself getting on their band-wagon, rather than sticking to your lofty goals and beliefs.

We must stop, meditate, and read Scripture, if we're Christian, to find out what determines a reputation. You also should take stock of for what you want to be remembered -- not to impress those around you -- but because it's the right thing to do. However doing the right thing may not be your aim. If living selfishly is your aim; that will be your reputation, the one you're acquired by your actions.

One thinks he can fool those around him. He can look good on the outside and pretend to have the good of others at heart. But he/she will always be found out. It's what's inside that will come to the forefront. Luke 12:2 verifies this by the words, "There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known."

I attended a funeral recently and the sermon elaborated about the deceased person's reputation and the value of having a good reputation. The pastor remembered that Jim had a great reputation. He had known him for many years. One thing in particular that he stressed, was Jim's lack of seeking the limelight. He helped in many things at church, at work, and in performing civic duties. Nevertheless, he allowed others to receive the attention. In spite of his working behind the scenes without desiring to be praised and thanked, people noticed anyway. Without Jim's even trying, he was building a wonderful reputation. He was a man who honored his word and performed worthy actions. These were noticed without Jim competing for attention. "That is one example of what constitutes a good reputation. Jim modeled the Scripture, "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven" Matthew 6:1.

Why should we care about the value of a good reputation and why does it matter what our reputation is? Our reputation shows our character. Your actions are a result of your character. The funeral was devoid of splashy display, rather it was simple in ceremony. Nevertheless it made a spiritual impression that I normally do not receive from a like service. The atmosphere of family and friends was quietly displayed. Jim was, indeed, remembered for his quiet, unassuming manner and good works -- his reputation.

That sermon caused me to stop and review my life and the kind of reputation and remembrances I might be building. One day, we will be held accountable, not only before God, but by what we leave behind on the earth. Will we leave a legacy of which we can be proud, or one of hypocrisy and deceit? Don't ever say, "I don't care what others say and think about me. It's my life." Your life affects those around you. Set an example of goodness and reap a good reputation.

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