Snapshots: Day 158
The Snapshot: “Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done.” (Ruth 2:11) Ruth has a history and it is one that reflects well on her and it now contributes to the good feeling Boaz has about her. Solomon was later to write, “A good name is more desirable than great riches.” (Prov 22:1) and, “A person is praised according to their prudence.” (Prov 12:8) What do those who know us say about us? No doubt they will be able to find faults, but can they speak well of our reputation for graciousness, always looking for the good in others, wisdom, insight, understanding goodness, kindness, gentleness, industry, thoughtfulness, compassion, spirituality and perhaps creativity? All of these are the things that build a reputation and open doors to further blessing.
Further Consideration: Reputation can be a funny thing because it really resides in the minds of others, and people think about other people through the tinted glasses of their own prejudices and insecurities. So perhaps an individual’s reputation should be considered as what the majority of people think about them.
Having said that, we follow a Lord whose reputation varied according to what a whole variety of different groups thought about him. The religious establishment thought badly of him (out of their insecurities), and his disciples seem to have had mixed feeling about him, often questioning and rarely getting understanding. Even today various religions around the world hold questioning views about him perhaps, again, from a defensive standpoint.
And that is it; so often we can’t help ourselves but have ideas about other people and those ideas may be built on untruths or partial truths, they may be what they are, as we’ve said, as a result of our own insecurities and our defensive feelings that are brought to the surface because of them. Reputation, from our viewpoint, can be something we should be very careful about.
We live in an age of mass-communication, no longer just TV but of social media brought by the phone in our hand, and it means we can express our views about other people to other people and in so doing we either exalt or destroy the reputations of others. In the Final Judgment, I have a feeling this particular sin – of what we call character assassination – will rate as highly as murder for it has the same potential of destroying a life, and it happens regularly today, tragically.
To summarize, as God’s children let’s seek to maintain a good reputation that may open or direct others to Him. Let’s also make sure we are careful to ensure we do not participate in character assassination in gossip on the Internet or face to face.