Reputation Management in a "Judgy" World
July 20, 2020
Film poster of My Reputation (1946) - Fair Use
Let us celebrate our differences.
Let us celebrate our commonalities.
Let us guard our reputations among those with whom we share so many other things in common.
In this life, there are some things that set us apart from others, our differences, and there are things that we have in common with all humanity.
What sets us apart is the reputation we build through our choices and relationships. There is an entire field of business consultancy called "reputation management."
It is that important!
What draws us together is the reality that we have all been created by God with an equal dispensation of His love, grace, and creativity.
Let us consider reputation
You Can't Buy a Reputation
"A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." - Proverbs 22:1 (NIV)
You cannot buy a good reputation, but a good reputation is like currency. You can spend it. It will open doors and create the trust and good will necessary to transact business in a cynical world.
Perhaps that is one reason Solomon said,"A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold."
"First things first" is an axiom that applies in so many ares of life. Getting rich quick does not promote a good reputation. Getting rich or successful systematically in such a ways as to be transparent and to help others along the way creates reputation and esteem.
If you are consistently honest in your business dealings, the word will get around. You will develop a reputation for honesty, fairness, and quality work. You cannot buy that, but with it, you can make a number of purchases.
Isn't that what a credit report is? Isn't it a formal statement of a person's reputation for keeping commitments?
Have you ever tried to get a loan with a lousy credit report?
There is no dollar figure on a good name. You earn it over a lifetime and it is well worth every minute invested in it.
Now, let us consider common ground.
"Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is Maker of them all." - Proverbs 21:2 (NIV)
There is an equality in the essential meaning of what it means to exist as a human being in this world. Each person is crafted by God. There is no birth distinction between rich and poor, no genetic predisposition dictating one's economic prospects. While people differ in talent, intellectual aptitude, and certain personality leanings, each is offered the possibility to become fully what they were made to be.
To be rich is to come into one's own.
It is to fully develop all of one's potential and live out one's purpose on this earth. It is to, through a process of trial and failure, to succeed and prosper according to God's design. It is to follow the Maker's dream implanted in the heart and to pursue that dream all the way.
What are you doing this very day to that end?
I would like to make some simple suggestions for today as you travel the road to success:
1. Avoid potholes, pitfalls, and speed bumps. Approach life's highway as a defensive driver.
Proverbs 22:3 - A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
Don't live in utter oblivion to danger. wake up from denial. Plan for contingencies. You were made by the same Creator as those who get caught in traps every day. You are special, but not special enough to be exempt from the laws of nature.
2. Humble yourself before God today. Worship Him. Take some time for worshipful reflection.
Proverbs 22:4 - By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.
Perspective comes when we hold ourselves up against the template of divine holiness. With perspective comes the realization of our God given potential for a full and meaningful life of purpose.
3. Pay your debts and avoid future debt. Do something today to move you closer to debt free living.
Proverbs 22:7 - The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
Debt is slavery. Use it wisely and rarely and only to accomplish goals that cannot be accomplished without it.
4. Be careful what you plant. Think about your deeds and consequences.
Proverbs 22:8 - He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.
All of your choices matter. Make good choices today, righteous choices.
5. Practice generosity today.
Proverbs 22:9 - He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.
You only save in this life what you give away. Do something for the poor today.
6. Overcome the temptation to be lazy and half-hearted today. Take initiative.
Proverbs 22: 13 - The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.
You will find many excuses for NOT doing what needs to be done. Take action to overcome that. Make momentum your friends by creating it with positive action.
7. Be just and wise.
Proverbs 22:16 - He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.
Don't do something that will harm people who are poor already and don't harm yourself by giving away unnecessary gifts to people who don't need, want, or appreciate them.
8. Guard your good reputation.
Proverbs 22:26 -Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts.
One of the best ways to lose a good reputation is by cosigning other people's debts. You may be tempted to lend your good name today. Be careful.
9. Respect agreements from the past. Have a long memory. God does. Be lawful and full of integrity. If there is some doubt about whether something is right or wrong, err on the side of caution to do the right thing.
Proverbs 22:28 - Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.
10. Be diligent. There is no substitute for faithfulness. Stick with your assignment and work hard.
Proverbs 22:29 - Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.
God has created us with a measure of equality. We have this in common. What sets us apart is what we do consistently and faithfully in His grace and in obedience to His truth to build a reputation that is ours alone.
The deeds we do to build a good name will also help us build a life and a business. Practice these ten principles today on your road to success.
Having said all of this, do not let it get out of balance to where we care too much about what others think and say about us.
All we really need to concern ourselves with is doing our part. Essentially, this talk is rather pessimistic with some elements of hope. Yet, I offer it as balance.
I like this - "through the eyes of love."
Notice that he points to a huge problem that develops when we decide that God is a fiction.