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In May Newsletter, I shared a little bit on why we need to be more concerned with our characters than our reputations.
John Wooden has been quoted saying, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Character is what you really are. Reputation is just what people say you are.”
As many of us know, ability may get us to the top, but it takes character to keep us there. Let’s look at why we need to be more concerned with our characters, which are about how we act, or what we do when nobody is watching, over our reputations, which are what people see, those things we do and say, whether or not we know and aware people are watching.
You can know a lot about your character by looking at how you act, or behave when you are not trying to please people, when you are just by yourself. Yes it’s true; there are things people say that are certainly fact about us sometimes we may not even be aware of them, but those around us have come to notice them.
By nature, for instance, I’m a reserved person. I like to sit in the back…hahaha, I only sit in the front only when I am asked to sit in the front…hahaha. If you meet me today, you will think I’m very outspoken, charming, and all that. But honestly, I had to learn and train myself to be that in front of people in order to overcome my fears. I realized that nobody really does anything of worthwhile in this world without courage. I realized you can’t get anywhere without having confidence. I did a personal assessment on myself, and I found out those important qualities were missing, and if I want to be successful in this life, I had to start learning how to be confident, be courageous, and so on.
You too, you can also decide to do personal assessment about yourself and your life, and start monitoring yourself on how you act or react, and what you do when you are alone and nobody is watching you. Start there in your journey of discovering things about yourself. And if you ask God to help you, God will bring circumstances in your life to reveal some things about you, and believe me, you will be surprised of unlikable things that you will discover about yourself.
Another thing why you need to be more concerned of your character, it’s because even though your reputation is also important, but sometimes it can be beyond your control. It can be attacked regardless how good we try to be or behave in our lives. You can do your best, but in few occasions there can be some kind of force of opposition or competition trying to destroy your good reputation whether in personal, professional, or business matters. If that happens, then your focus should be on improving your character. When you do that, one day your good character will show and it will prove to your opposition to be wrong, and it won’t matter anymore what they said or thought about you.
I was reading “The Purpose Driven Life Book” by Pastor Rick Warren, a good read by the way, and an eye opener to our spiritual blindness. Actually, this was my second time to read it. The first time I read it, I didn’t read it till the end. It was too much to comprehend or chew at one time. One of the purposes Pastor Rick Warren shared on his book, why God created us is that He wanted us to become like Christ. Pastor Rick said, “From the very beginning, God’s plan has been to make us like His Son, Jesus.” In the Bible in book of Genesis chapter 1 verse 26 it says, “Then God said, “Let us make human beings in Our image, to be like Us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” The Bible also says in the book of Colossians chapter 1 verse 15, “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation.”
Not only that in the book of Hebrews chapter 1 verses 1 to 6, reading from the Message Bible version, it says, “Going through a long line of prophets, God has been addressing our ancestors in different ways for centuries. Recently He spoke to us directly through His Son. By His Son, God created the world in the beginning, and it will all belong to the Son at the end. This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God’s nature. He holds everything together by what He says—powerful words!” After He finished the sacrifice for sins, the Son took His honored place high in the heavens right alongside God, far higher than any angel in rank and rule. Did God ever say to an angel, “You’re My son; today I celebrate you” or “I’m his Father, He’s My son”? When He presents His honored Son to the world, He says, “All angels must worship Him.”
One of the Lord Jesus Christ purposes when He came on planet earth from heaven was to reveal to us the real truth about God and life. He was the prophesied Messiah Who was supposed to come on earth. Not only He came to provide Salvation for our lives, but He also came to show us how to be, walk, and live like a child of God. So if you want to know what God’s like, just look and study the life of His Son, The Lord Jesus Christ; how He lived on earth, the way He acted, behaved, His values, attitudes, what He taught, and so on. From the beginning God wanted us to take on His values, attitudes, and character. From beginning it was God’s desires for us to become godly children. What does it mean then? Even God is very concerned about our characters; that’s how important it is to Him. And the character God wants us to have is of like His Son Jesus, Christ-like character.
In the Bible, in the book of Galatians 5 verses 22 to 23, Apostle Paul said, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Therefore, do you know that one of the works of The Holy Spirit of God in us is to produce Christ-like character in us? It is The Holy Spirit Who helps us to live a godly life. The book of Philippians chapter 2 verse 13 says, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.” The Holy Spirit of God is well capable to help us improve our characters and integrity, and instill His values in our lives.
Warren Buffet has been quoted saying “It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
Yes, we all need to build good reputations for ourselves, our businesses, ministries, and so on, and the best way to do it is to work on improving our characters, values, and integrity first, because as we do that we slowly begin to build good reputations for ourselves, our businesses, professions and careers. It will free us, because we won’t have to hide anymore; hide from our misconducts, shortcomings, and weaknesses, et cetera. It will also help us escape the rut in the long run.
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To your success,