Wednesday - September 28, 2016
Woodlawn Family Bible Study
BIBLE READING: Proverbs 22:1; Ecclesiastes 7:1
MAIN IDEA: “Everyone has a reputation”
“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” --Abraham Lincoln
As with most things, a good reputation is harder to build than to destroy. Building a good reputation requires effort, patience, time and commitment. Destroying a good reputation only requires a single moment of a bad choice. What is the secret to building a good reputation? Become a person who deserves one. Choose to be consistent in your choices and actions that will reflect the characteristics you want others to associate with you.
Your reputation is not only a reflection of you but also of what people see as a follower of Christ. A good reputation doesn’t come from what you intend to do. Don’t feel you must tell others about your beliefs. Rather, let others discover them in you. A reputation is a fragile thing. It requires constant feeding. Consistency is crucial. If you live up to your reputation 99% of the time, but fail to do so 1% of the time, you risk losing or damaging it.
You can't stop others from saying bad things about you, but a good reputation can come to your rescue when other people who know you rise to your defense without you even knowing it. We are, in fact, all caretakers of one another's reputations. In a society in which simply being accused is enough to render a conviction in the court of public opinion, we should always give someone the benefit of doubt, of not only innocence, but goodness, until facts prove otherwise. We all need to be kinder and gentler with one another.
APPLICATION: Your reputation is a shadow of you, it’s what people see.