Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Character vs. Reputation

Image result for john piippo character vs reputation
(I hang out with the world's most interesting people.)
I have seen websites advertising ways to clean up your reputation. You may have an online reputation that is less than marketable. These websites promise to sanctify "you" by removing your sins (real or rumored) and producing a shiny, sparkling, attractive "you." This is called "reputation management." I kid you not.

Your sordid reputation can be manipulated, for a cost. But what about your character?

Money cannot help you here. Your reputation, which money can airbrush, is not your character. Your character is about the real "you." Money cannot change that unless, perhaps, you begin sacrificially, and from a heart of compassion, giving it away to the poor. 

The real "you" includes who you are when offline. This is what God cares about. God develops character, not reputation.  

Everyone has a reputation. Jesus did. Isn't he just the "carpenter's son?" "He's from Nazareth, right?" 

Reputation may align with character. You may have a reputation of being a kind person. If you are kind, in character, which means kind at home, kind on the road, kind in the workplace, kind to your spouse, kind when alone, then your reputation of being kind aligns with who you truly are.

Several years ago I was one of the presenters at an ecumenical prayer gathering. As I entered the auditorium a Roman Catholic leader approached me. He said he was surprised to see me here, because he had heard that I hate Roman Catholics. I told him that was untrue. I shared how one of our city's priests, with whom I was friends, had invited me to speak at the annual Unity Service. I have no idea where he got that from. Such is the nature of "reputation."

Forget about what people repute you to be. Focus on connecting to Jesus, who is forming himself in you. Grow and mature into Christ, and let God take care of whatever follows.


My two books are:

Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God

Leading the Presence-Driven Church

I am writing...

Encounters with the Holy Spirit (Co-edited with Janice Trigg - June 2019 - I submitted the manuscript this week.)

Transformation: How God Changes the Human Heart

Technology and Spiritual Formation

Linda and I will then co-write our book on Relationships