A preacher making comparisons to the seven churches in Asia talked about in the book of Revelation said:
“Reputation is what people think of you. Character is what you actually do.”
What a great comment that was! We all have witnessed the differences in reputation and character. They should be the same but that is rarely the case. Why is that so?
Both a person’s reputation and character are developed over a lifetime. They may begin as one thing but change over time. It would be great if both reputation and character would reach a pinnacle and then never change but that does not happen. They will change.
Public relations firms are often referred to as reputation management firms. They try to minimize the damage done by a person or company’s poor actions and maximize the goodwill gained by a person or company’s good actions. These companies make a lot of money because people are not good at managing their actions.
The closer your reputation is to your character, the fewer problems you will have. You want your reputation to be based on your character. When someone interacts with you, your desire should be for that person to experience what your preceding reputation portrays.
How you handle each experience in your life will help impact your reputation. In other words, your reputation is the average of your character. Think about that. The better your interactions with others, the better your reputation will become. It’s like that proverbial emotional bank account. The more deposits you make, the higher the account balance will grow.
What do you want your reputation to be? I want my reputation to be the best it possibly can be. I want what someone thinks of me to be the exact image I see in the mirror. If it’s not, I have work to do.
It isn’t good if your reputation is better than it should be. If it is, people will be disappointed when experiencing your character. In contrast, if your reputation is not as good as it should be, you may unfairly lose opportunities. You won’t be given the chance to prove your reputation is false.
Does your reputation equal your character? If not, what has happened to make it so? What can you do to get the two more in line with each other? Do others question your character? I hope not but if that happens, what can you do about it.
I don’t necessarily have the answers because each situation is different. However, I’m confident in saying that if your actions benefit others more than yourself, your reputation will grow to match your character.