Riches of A Good Reputation
Hello and welcome to the youth page of the holiness messenger. Again I would like to say a special thanks to Bro. Parks for this honor of writing to you all. I hope this writing finds you making plans to attend various youth camps over the upcoming summer. My prayer is that God would pour out his Spirit on all of our young people this year!
Let us look now at something that is most valuable and yet it holds little value to so many today. A priceless possession that is more desirable than the riches of the world but has been sold out for mere pennies on the dollar. What is this crowned jewel that I speak of? I am referring to a good name. Look with me for the next few moments at the Riches of a Good Reputation.
Let’s look into the treasure of Proverbs 22 verse 1, “ A GOOD name is rather to chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” I feel I would be safe in using the term “good name” interchangeably with the word reputation. Webster’s definition of the word reputation is simply character in the public estimation. To put this into terms we are more familiar with, reputation is what others think about you. I’ve heard it said, “ I don’t care what anybody thinks about me!”, and I believe by some people’s actions that is exactly the way they feel about their own reputation. That being said it is important to understand that reputation is compared to a great mirror, for if you look into your own reputation you will see what you really are. Also one must realize that the reflection in that mirror is not exclusive to them but it shines for the entire world to see what you really are. There are three reflections I want you to gaze into and see if you behold yourself in them at all.
1-Reputation reflects your Character- Character has been described as what a person is when no one else is around. “A man’s character is the reality of himself. His reputation is the opinion others have formed of him. Character is in him; reputation is from other people-character is the substance, reputation is the shadow.”-Henry Ward Beecher. Reputation is a great reflection of the things that we are on the inside. Proverbs 23:7, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:” I’ve never known a man that was able to forever hide what he was on the inside. Eventually those character flaws, as we like to call them, will come to the surface for all to see thus forming a reputation. How is it that when we hear a name or see a picture of someone our mind automatically calls to remembrance the most dominant traits of that person? Of some people we think of their faithfulness or that they hold a good standard but of others our minds goes to arrogance or worldliness, what is the reason for this? Reputation! You must remember that character is made by what you stand for; reputation by what you fall for.
Remember young person that no amount of ability is of the slightest avail without honor. The ability to preach or sing means nothing at all if your reputation precedes you as a young man or young woman without integrity.
2-Reputation reflects your church- 2 Corinthians 3 verse 2, “Ye are our epistles written in our hearts, known and read of all men:” The apostle Paul was proud to be able to point people to the Corinthian believers and say that they were a part of his ministry. I wonder how your reputation makes your pastor feel about you. Would he point you out to a visiting minister as a Godly young person with great potential or would he have to make excuse for why you are no farther along than you are? Do you realize that when you tell somebody which church you attend you just gave them a mental picture of that congregation? Whether it is right or not, reality is that people draw conclusions about an entire church sometimes from only one member! I wouldn’t want to be the one to bring a reproach on my church by the way I dress, the people I associate with, or the way I present myself. Young person your pastor has enough critics without one of his own church giving them ammunition in their assault!
3-Reputation reflects Christ- Matthew 5:16 “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Most important we must remember that we are the only representation of Christ that this world will ever see. I want to cast Christ in a positive light and not bring a reproach upon his name! Many a sinner has said of the church , “if that is what Christianity is I want no part of it,” but I want to make Christ attractive to this sinful world. Don’t think for a minute that they can’t tell the real from the fake. Acts 4:13 “;and they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus.” We are to live a life that speaks to all who see that we belong to Jesus Christ!
I pray that your heart has been stirred and your eyes open to the fact that what people think of you really does matter. Remember in all life’s endeavors that good will, like a good name is gotten by many actions and lost by one. -Lord Jeffrey. Although a broken reputation is like a broken vase, it may be mended, but it always shows where the break was, you can out live a marred reputation. Let us always guard our heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life.
May God Bless You
This was a article our Youth Pastor wrote for The Holiness Messenger in the spring of 2010.