Reputation (n.) – the beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something. A widespread belief that someone or something has a particular habit or characteristic. Synonyms: name, good name, character, repute, standing, stature, status, position, renown, esteem, prestige.
It may be the most important thing you have. Your reputation. What do people know you for? What qualities define you or your personality? I’m not saying you need to be overly concerned about what others think of you. People’s opinions of you change daily. What’s more important is how pleased God is with your character. Are you living like you say you are? Are you concerned about the things that matter to God? If so, great! If not, ask yourself why.
Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.
Here are five ways you can build and keep a good name for yourself
1. Respect yourself and others.
Treat others with the same respect and dignity the way you want to be treated. Even if they don’t return the respect, you can always take the high road. Choosing to respect someone who you feel doesn’t deserve your respect will speak volumes about your character to your peers and those around you. It’s also really important that you respect yourself. Take responsibility for your body, mind and soul. Don’t allow someone or something to rule any one of those areas other than God. You are precious to God.
2. Think of yourself less than you think of others.
This isn’t the same as thinking that you’re less than someone else. What this means is to take your eyes off of you once in a while to notice someone’s needs and dreams. This is true humility. Any person who can help someone else find their God-given purpose and value is a person to be treasured.
3. Watch your tongue.
This seems rather obvious, but more often than not, we find ourselves in discord with friends over something we said to them or about them. The Bible speaks extensively on this topic.
4. Don’t trust your feelings
I need to repeat that. Don’t trust your feelings. Our feelings are a good barometer that we’re alive, but they’re not trustworthy. Why? I’m glad you asked. Have you ever gone grocery shopping on an empty stomach? Or perhaps you’ve had a bad day at school and you took out your discontent on your brother or sister, or worse yet, your dog? Yeah? Feelings or emotions are often self-serving because people are ultimately selfish. Here’s how we can live for God, not our feelings.
5. Get a mentor.
The value of an outside perspective who can lend experience and true wisdom is priceless. This is why I believe students need to be involved in a youth group. Finding a mentor can be hard. Finding a mentor who knows what the Bible says can be even tougher. Not every person should seek to be a mentor, but every person should have a mentor. This is yet another reason we believe in the Online Crisis Chatline partnership with Groundwire. In fact, if you are over 18 and are interested in mentoring, consider becoming an Online Spiritual Coach. You can find information here.
As Ben Franklin once said, “Honesty is the best policy.” Be honest and truthful, even when it may hurt your reputation. Your honesty will mean more than any number of lies you could amount to cover a wrong. Think about it.
What other ways can you think of?