As believers, we are called to have a good reputation. We don’t always start out with one but if we follow God’s guidance a good reputation is a natural result of serving God wholeheartedly as Ward Simpson explains.
“A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold.” (Proverbs 22:1)
I found myself in court one day when I was just 19-years-old. The charge was “Reckless Driving!” There I was, standing before the judge when he asked the dreaded question… “How do you plead? Innocent or guilty? Well, what do I say? A guilty plea will surely come with consequences. An innocent plea will create the need for me to hire an attorney and argue the case. Or maybe, just maybe, an innocent plea will lead to a quick dismissal.
A flood of thoughts went through my mind at rapid speed, I had to decide quickly. Here’s what happened next…
“GUILTY your honor” came out of my mouth!
I pleaded guilty to the gasps of those around me. Everyone expected me to plead innocent as “that was the thing to do.” A crafty attorney could have taken care of everything for me.
The penalty was severe! A six-month driver’s license suspension! What did I do? Why did I plead guilty? What was I thinking? I returned home really down. How would I survive without the ability to drive? I remember thinking what a dummy I was. What would my friends think? Surely this would make the newspapers the next day since our family was were well known and in a prominent position.
Sure enough, it made the paper and here is what they reported: Ward Simpson commended by the judge for his honesty! You see, what I haven’t told you up to now is that when I pleaded guilty the judge knew very well that I could have lied (I was guilty), I could have pleaded innocent thus avoiding the penalty.
What did the reporters report? Not my crime. Not my punishment. They reported my honesty! Wow! The next few days everyone made comments to me about my honesty. What a joy it was to be thought of as an honest person! I had never considered myself dishonest but to be called honest was a big deal for a young 19-year-old.
Since that day I have tried to live up to that reputation. Honesty is key to walking in freedom.
We all have our flaws and not perfect by any means. We are all going through life aiming to be the best person we can be but the question I ask myself. The question I ask you today – What do people say about you?
Here is a list of powerful qualities found in the book of Proverbs. I urge you to print this list out and place it in your Bible or stick it to your fridge to remind yourself continually: Give yourself a spiritual checkup!
How do develop a great reputation
The Godly Man / Woman found in the Book of Proverbs is:
- kind and compassionate (12:10).
- honest (29:24).
- hard-working (12:11; 27:23-27).
- truthful (12:17,19).
- exercises self-control (12:15; 16:32).
- has a gentle tongue (12:18; 15:1-2,4).
- is generous (14:21; 28:27).
- willing to be corrected and listens to counsel (12:15; 15:12,31-32; 28:13; 29:1).
- a PERSON of integrity (19:1; 20:7).
- is faithful and reliable (17:17; 29:3; contrast 25:19; 31:3).
- forgiving (19:11).
- willing to admit he/she is wrong (28:13).
- is humble (15:25,33; 16:18-19; 18:12; 29:23).
- not contentious, but a peacemaker (17:1; 18:1,19).
- has control of his/her temper (14:29; 16:32; 17:27; 29:11).
- is a person who avoids excesses (20:1; 23:20-21, 29-35; 31:3-9).
- has a concern for others, especially the poor and the oppressed (29:7).
- can keep a confidence (17:9; 26:20).
- fears God and is obedient to His Word (13:13; 14:26; 16:20; 28:25; 31:30).
- is not a jealous person (27:4).