Reputation = what someone is known for [Source: Wiktionary].
During the Apostle Paul's second missionary journey, he revisited the Roman colony of Lystra. While he was there, he met a young disciple named Timothy. God's Word states that all the believers spoke very well of Timothy. Timothy had an excellent reputation (Acts 16:1-3). In fact, his reputation among the believers was so excellent, that Paul determined to develop a mentoring relationship with this young man and to take Timothy with him as he continued on his journey.
I don't know about you, but my reputation is extremely important to me. When believers and unbelievers speak about me, I want them to say that I am an honest, trustworthy individual who loves God and serves Him faithfully. I have gained the trust and confidence of others because I am a man of integrity who will always do the right thing, no matter what. Am I perfect? Of course not. Do I have issues? Everybody has issues. Do I make mistakes? Plenty, but my desire is to do right and please God.
An excellent reputation can sometimes take an entire lifetime to build with those around you, but it can easily be destroyed by one major, incredibly foolish action. In the Christian world, just remember people such as Jimmy Swaggert, Jim Bakker, and Ted Haggard. They have all blown their reputations with bad choices, decisions, and actions. One night of sinful pleasure can lead to a lifetime of misery and rejection.
How Can You Build An Excellent Reputation?
- Be real with people.
- Be a person after God's own heart.
- Let your personal worship line up with your public, corporate worship. Christianity isn't a one day of the week experience. We have to live out our faith, daily.
- Pursue purity. Flee from sin. If you have specific struggles in the flesh, always consider the long-term consequences of giving in to your fleshly desires.
- Do what you say you're going to do. Be a person of integrity. Be honest.
- Engage with people. Love them for who they are, not what you can get out of them.
- Do excellent work. Don't be a "halfway" kind of person.
- Be an awesome listener.
- Give of yourself to others - time, talents, and money. Don't be so selfish.
A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold (Proverbs 22:1, NIV).