Showing posts with the label Reputation

Reputation Aside

Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. ( There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers. ) But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?" When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” (Mark 2:15-17) Have you ever noticed that sentence in this passage before? "There were many people of this kind..." What a way for people to 'label' other people. "Those people" - that is a label, isn't it? They didn't 'measure up' to the standards being imposed upon them - much like you and me on occasion. They didn't 'follow the rules' some of the time - like us rule-breake

True Riches

B.C. Forbes reminds us, "Real riches are the riches possessed inside." I am going to say some of us have riches galore, while others may only be beginning to see those riches building bit by bit in their lives. According to God's Word, true riches come as we give Christ his rightful place in our lives - when he is at the center of our lives, all the riches of heaven are poured into us. We become 'enriched' individuals at the foot of the cross. Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold. The rich and poor have this in common: The Lord made them both. A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. True humility and fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor, and long life. (Proverbs 22:1-4) We have been looking on what is on the 'inside' of a man - for that is what really matters. If the 'fool inside' is the thing we feed the mos

This no longer 'fits'

A solid reputation requires a commitment to being honest. Deceitful people walk a treacherous, thorny path. Mom always said that my lies would "snowball". In other words, it was like rolling the tiny snowball into the bigger one which eventually became the biggest part of the snowman's body! The more you "roll around" in the lie, the more lies you attract and use to cover up the original one. Eventually, there is more effort in being dishonest than there ever would have been in maintaining your integrity and just coming clean about what it is you wanted to cover up in the first place. At the moment, a lie seems like an easy fix to a miserable situation, but in the end, the situation is made more miserable by the lies. No amount of "cover-up" actually stays covered up very long. Eventually some form of "heat" will cause the truth to surface - and when it does, the damage the lies have done to your reputation leave a bigger "hole" to

What a character!

A good reputation is better than much wealth; high esteem is better than silver and gold. The rich and the poor have this in common: the Lord made them both. Prudent people see trouble and hide, while the simpleminded go right to it and get punished. The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord is wealth, honor, and life. Thorns and nets are in the path of the crooked; those who guard their lives keep their distance. Train children in the way they should go; when they grow old, they won’t depart from it. The wealthy rule over the poor; a borrower is a slave to a lender. Those who sow injustice will harvest evil; the rod of their fury will come to an end. Happy are generous people, because they give some of their food to the poor. Remove the mocker and conflict disappears; judgment and shame also stop. (Proverbs 21:1-10) The overall quality of character is what determines if a man or woman will be known in a favorable light. We call this "reputation" - something which &qu

Casting the right shadow

Abraham Lincoln said, "Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing." We all have a reputation - that shadow of our character - some of us better in some ways than another, but we all have our "bad stuff" we'd rather nobody ever associated with us! A reputation is the "estimation" we have of someone simply by what we observe, or don't observe, in their performance / behavior. It is only an "estimation" as scripture clearly reminds us we cannot really know a man's heart - only God can truly see "into" a man's heart. We see the shadow - God sees the roots. Don't lose your grip on Love and Loyalty. Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart. Earn a reputation for living well in God's eyes and the eyes of the people. (Proverbs 3:3-4) We "earn" a reputation - growing like a shadow we can see it is not given to

The shadow of reputation

"Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself." (Henry Ward Beecher)  My bible college professor used to tell us to live "above suspicion" in all we do and say. The idea of living in such a way so as to be "above reproach" - in a manner that would not allow any accusation to be considered against you - this is the idea of "living by a higher standard". It is not that we see ourselves as above reproach in some lofty or prideful way, but that we continually seek to allow the standard Christ set to be the one we follow. A good reputation is preferable to riches, and the approval of others is better than precious silver or gold. (Proverbs 22:1 VOICE) Beecher also said, "The real man is one who finds excuses for others, but never excuses himself."  I think the idea of continually asking the Holy Spirit to guide your actions, temper your words, and influence your thoughts AND then t

Who is the person behind the sign?

The overall quality of character is what determines if a man or woman will be "favorably" known.  We call this "reputation" - something which "precedes" you into every venture in life.  Get a "bad rep" and you might just have to "start over" in a new "life" in order to escape the "unfavorable" reputation you have acquired.  Many people try to do this by moving to a new location, starting a new job, or entering into a new relationship.  Trouble is, until you deal with whatever got you the "bad rep" in the first place, you will just redo the same things wherever you start anew.  I know this because I speak from personal experience.  I was a little bit of a trouble-maker as a teenager, and there were times when my reputation preceded me wherever I went.  Despite the attempts to convince others I had "started over", the bad events of my past just followed me.  What I failed to recognize it that others

Heart attraction

We might call a person who really doesn't like to be around other people a recluse.  We might think of this person as living in a secluded area, or in a house with tall shrubs all around so as to keep people out and their "secret lives" secret.  In reality, anyone who lives "shut off" from the world is living a life of a recluse.  I am not much into quantum theory, although I have had the privilege of speaking with some amazingly intelligent men and women who do very well in this field.  I do appreciate some of the principles they teach, one of which is best stated by Erwin Schrodinger, an Austrian Physicist who studied in this field.  He said, "For a solitary animal, egoism is a virtue that tends to preserve and improve the species; in any kind of community it becomes a destructive vice."  Well said, Mr. Schrodinger!  As long as we live with ourselves and engage with no others throughout this lifetime, we might just find our egocentric lifestyle exac

More than a good name

Reputation:  the estimation in which a person or thing is held; a good name; a good standing based on merit, achievement, or reliability.  Most of us go through life hoping to achieve a good reputation.  Yet, it never ceases to amaze me how people go about making a name for themselves - sometimes doing more to tarnish their repute than to improve it!  We only have to look at our star athletes, public figures, and media personalities to understand how the most inappropriate decisions can absolutely destroy one's good name. Sometimes it doesn't even matter how much "good" one has done - the one moment of folly and ill-chosen choices makes for a more lasting repute than all the good!  Maybe this is why we are told to earn a reputation for living well in God's eyes - and in the eyes of the people.  When our choices align with what God declares to be good - the actions which follow will almost certainly produce the results of "building up" one's reputatio

I know "of", but do I "know"?

Preconceived:  To form a perception of beforehand as a result of previously held or known information.  Some of us have a tendency to gravitate toward what we "know" about a person, forming an opinion of that person based on the small amount of facts we have.  The problem with this is the limitation in what it is we know about that individual.  We likely have some facts, but we really don't get beyond those "facts" to consider the "rest of the story" as Paul Harvey would say.   He left there and returned to his hometown. His disciples came along. On the Sabbath, he gave a lecture in the meeting place. He made a real hit, impressing everyone. “We had no idea he was this good!” they said. “How did he get so wise all of a sudden, get such ability?”   But in the next breath they were cutting him down: “He’s just a carpenter—Mary’s boy. We’ve known him since he was a kid. We know his brothers, James, Justus, Jude, and Simon, and his sisters. Who does he

I've got a "rep"!

We all have a reputation - some of us better in some ways than another's, but we all have our "bad stuff" we'd rather nobody ever associated with us!  A reputation is the "estimation" we have of someone simply by what we observe, or don't observe, in their performance / behavior.  It is indeed only an "estimation" as scripture reminds us we cannot really know a man's heart - only God can truly see "into" a man's heart.   3-4  Don't lose your grip on Love and Loyalty.   Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart.   Earn a reputation for living well  in God's eyes and the eyes of the people.  (Proverbs 3:3-4 The Message) We "earn" a reputation - it is not given to us!  We gain it by the various ways we behave, things we say/don't say, etc.  We are reminded today of the need to "earn" a reputation for living well in God's eyes - and in turn, the eyes of the people ar

Bargain Basement Finds

2  Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good;     God  probes for what is good.    9  We plan the way we want to live,    but only  God  makes us able to live it. (Proverbs 16:2, 9) Have you heard the term "window shopping"?  It refers to the action of simply being out "aimlessly" traversing the paths of the mall, in and out of shops, sometimes finding an item or two we "just must have", and at other times, just getting ideas about what we will come to "dream about".  We are accustomed to the idea that we look for what "appeals" to us.  If it "moves us", we say we are influenced to make the purchase and claim it as our own. The problem with this type of "shopping" is that we often buy what looks good and not what has the lasting / enduring qualities of a "good purchase".  We tend to follow the "fads" rather than to be making quality decisions.  The fact is stated very well in our passages

Riffraff Unite!

  9 Passing along, Jesus saw a man at his work collecting taxes. His name was Matthew. Jesus said, "Come along with me." Matthew stood up and followed him.  10-11 Later when Jesus was eating supper at Matthew's house with his close followers, a lot of disreputable characters came and joined them. When the Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit, and lit into Jesus' followers. "What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riffraff?"    12-13 Jesus, overhearing, shot back, "Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: 'I'm after mercy, not religion.' I'm here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders." (Matthew 9:9-13) There is very little that Jesus did in his ministry that escaped the "inspecting" eyes of the religious leaders of the day.  The leaders (Pharisees and Sadducees) were consumed by their "need" to catch Jesu

Graffiti Conspiracy

11-12 Don't bad-mouth each other, friends.  It's God's Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk.  You're supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it.  God is in charge of deciding human destiny.  Who do you think you are to meddle in the destiny of others? (James 4:11-12) 22  Isn't it obvious that conspirators lose out,  while the thoughtful win love and trust?  (Proverbs 14:22) I present two passages this morning - one from the Old Testament, the other from the New.  Conspiracy is not something most of us would consider ourselves as being part of.  In fact, we probably think of that as something from a James Bond movie.  If we examine further, we will probably identify that "conspiracy" is a more common occurrence in our lives than we would imagine. To conspire means that we agree secretly to do something wrong.  It can be an agreement of just one, or many people.  The other word that is sim

Keeping right perspective

1-4  Joshua was up early and on his way from Shittim with all the People of Israel with him. He arrived at the Jordan and camped before crossing over. After three days, leaders went through the camp and gave out orders to the people: "When you see the Covenant-Chest of  God , your God, carried by the Levitical priests, start moving. Follow it. Make sure you keep a proper distance between you and it, about half a mile—be sure now to keep your distance!—and you'll see clearly the route to take. You've never been on this road before." (Joshua 3:1-4) Israel is about to take Jericho - a huge city fortified with walls and a large army. This was a city surrounded by palm trees, rich soil, and natural springs.  As a result, the land was coveted for its resources.  It is a good place for Israel to begin their invasion of Canaan - giving them water, food, and position for the next stages of their attacks. As the invasion begins, Joshua commissioned the leaders to give the ins

Invitation into a solid reputation

3-4   Take a good look at me,   God , my God;   I want to look life in the eye,      So no enemy can get the best of me   or laugh when I fall on my face.     5-6   I've thrown myself headlong into your arms— I'm celebrating your rescue.      I'm singing at the top of my lungs,   I'm so full of answered prayers. (Psalm 13:3-6) There are two responses to life - facing it head on, or ducking for cover.  The first requires some element of determination, faith, and commitment.  The latter simply requires a spirit of complacency, our emotional response to fear, and a whole lot of discouragement.  David is the writer of our Psalm today - he was in a real "pickle" when he pens these words.  Friends had turned their backs, enemies were all around, and everything he had counted on seemed to be failing - except God.  So, in the midst of this, he turns to the one he knows will never fail. When we look deeper at what he says in the midst of his disappointment, we find t

Don't lose a minute

5-9 So don't lose a minute in building on what you've been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can't see what's right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books. (2 Peter 1:5-9) Peter opens this second epistle to the church with a reminder that the salvation we have been given is all because of the "straight dealing" and intervention of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Everything we need to get to know God better has already been given to us in the gift of salvation - we just need to apply it to our lives.  The very ability to get to