OUR… REPUTATION. Some of us go through life, really….not caring…. About their reputation. What do we want to be ‘remembered for’ in this life… or the next? I don’t believe there’s anyone… who DOESN’T CARE. If they don’t care now… they will somewhere down the line… probably too late to change.
There is a difference between…. Not caring what people think…. And not caring about our REPUTATION. Our reputation will follow us around… forever. Do we want to be ‘reputed’ as being a hard-worker, who helps his fellow-man, known as an ‘honest-in ‘Jun’…one who goes the ‘narrow-path’… who does everything just as they should… both ethically, and morally? Do we want to be someone who is recognized as ‘playing FAIR’ … by the RULES; one whose opinion… people seek? Then…Pay ATTENTION to your REPUTATION.
Not caring what people think…. Is a CASUAL reflection… it doesn’t mean you have a bad reputation. One can treat people RUDELY… yet still be HONEST and TRUSTWORTHY. People might be jealous of you and not care for you. Not caring about that type of situation is “not as damaging,” as having a reputation as being a “first-class-RASCAL,” one who SHORT-CHANGES people every opportunity he gets.
I use the TERM…. RASCAL, in the sense of being a guy who “goes by the book,” who is un-yielding, etc. I’ve probably been known as a RASCAL the ‘first-half’ of my business life. The 2nd half…I’ve tried to improve my image. In other words, you can gain the reputation of being a RASCAL… simply because you work HARDER than all of your peers; or even because you don’t ‘join the boys,’ after work for a NITE-CAP. Even, sometimes, because you might make a lot more money that ‘the rest of the guys.’ And, also, because you ‘go-against-the-grain’…being different than the rest. We RASCALS pay a price for our reputation.
When people are JEALOUS, they can think of all kinds of reasons, for not liking you. When you are in a strong-leadership-role, and TOUGH-DECISIONS have to be made, which are too often…’grossly un-popular’… you may very-well be categorized as an RASCAL. But… listen to me… if you are HONEST, CARING, TRUSTWORTHY, and you work hard at your job…. Then ‘no-one’ will think of you otherwise. For me; even though I may have had a reputation as being a RASCAL… (In which I worked hard to get), I also had a reputation for being HONEST, CARING, TRUSTWORTHY, and working harder than anyone else. No one will remember me as being an RASCAL, and if they do, it will be in the form of a ‘Compliment.’ But, let me assure you…. None of ‘that worldly stuff ‘is important to me…. No Sir!
What is IMPORTANT… is: Do ‘they see God’ reflected in me? Do they know me as believing in God, the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit? That Jesus died on the Cross for my sins; and that I’ve REPENTED (changed course) for my sins; and that I offer FORGIVENESS to all who offended me, and ask forgiveness for those I’ve offended. I want people to recognize me as being a WARRIOR in God’s army. I want to be reputed for ‘having helped my neighbor’… to have LOVED my neighbor as myself. I want it said about me…. “You could tell that he Loved Jesus Christ.” I want to be remembered as the guy who ‘tried-hard’ to REMIND everyone that GOD LOVES them.
The Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 1:27 – Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.