Adapted from Bishop Roberto Jemmott’s monthly newsletter “Shepherd To Shepherd” – Guard your Reputation (January 2013)
Reputation is an opinion about a person; typically it’s the result of social evaluation on a set of criteria. Your reputation is important. As a Spiritual Ironman you must guard your reputation. In this day and age of the 24-7 news medium and everything posted to the internet, you need to be very careful with your reputation.
A scandal can ruin your good reputation. Society is replete with ruined reputations because of scandals involving some kind of sexual behavior; however scandals are not limited to sex only. There were instances when scandals involved financial practices, misappropriation of funds and domestic violence.
I wish I could say that believers are exempt or excluded from scandal, however and unfortunately believers are not excluded. Sadly many of us have lost our moral compass and integrity; we have surrendered our moral high ground. At times, it is difficult to tell the difference between believer and un-believers. The scriptures tell us because of who we are in Christ, the world hates us “The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.” John 15:19 (NLT) Let’s not give them any more excuses to criticize us by compromising our reputations.
In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians he writes the following regarding the collection of money for the poor:
“Taking every precaution against scandal. We don’t want anyone suspecting us of taking one penny of this money for ourselves. We’re being as careful in our reputation with the public as in our reputation with God.”
2 Corinthians 8:20-21 (MSG)
There must be a difference between the un-believer and the believer. Notice what Paul said, “We’re being as careful in our reputation with the public as in our reputation with God.” As a Spiritual Ironman, you must be careful how you walk; how you talk; and how you comport yourself in public and in private. Remember, what you do in secret is revealed in public. The world must see us as men and women of integrity. Your reputation is all you have and you must guard it both publicly and privately. If your reputation has been damaged, start rebuilding it. If you have sinned, ask God to forgive you, ask the person you hurt by committing the sin to forgive you, and start again!
As you move forward, make a commitment to guard your reputation. Remember, God and the world are watching. Let us reclaim the moral high ground.
Your Iron Coach,