Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Regaling Our Reputations by Martin Wiles

Nicknamed “Charlie Hustle,” Pete Rose is a former Major League baseball player and manager.

Rose’s record is impressive. As of 2012, he leads the Major League in hits, games played, at-bats and outs. His winnings include three World Series rings, three batting titles, two Gold Gloves, Rookie of the Year Award and one Most Valuable Player Award.

But Rose is usually remembered for something else. In 2004-after years of denying it, Rose admitted to betting on baseball games. A few leaders of one of Israel’s tribes also had a reputation problem. They were famous but not faithful. They were brave warriors, famous men, and heads of their families. But they were unfaithful to the God of their ancestors (I Chronicles 5:24-25).

One poor decision can ruin a good reputation, destroy a spotless credit record or upend a family. Building good reputations takes time, diligence and hard work. Like credit ratings, they don’t just happen. Credit ratings are built by purchasing items on time, paying them off on time, and giving the lender interest in the process. But one or two foibles can destroy what it took years to build-with credit and reputations.

Nor does living in the limelight outwardly mean one is okay inwardly. Honorable reputations come from a unique relationship with God, which in turn affects our attitudes and actions. I can be known as a hard worker but be immoral or have a reputation as a dedicated father yet cheat on my wife.

Loving God and obeying his commands helps us build God-honoring reputations that are noticed by others. And God’s Spirit will always guide us to actions and decisions that preserve our reputations.

Prayer: Lord, keep us close to You in our words, thoughts and actions so our reputations will honor Your name.