I was blown away to learn that it cost 3 million dollars for a 30 second commercial during the Superbowl! Companies spend billions of dollars on advertising because they understand the value of a good name and want us to trust them. They also know that if they can’t be trusted they will lose business because they have developed a bad name – we call it a bad reputation.
We tend to think that a reputation is simply an opinion of you that is attributed to you by others. In other words… people think of you a certain way and the mental picture of you that they hold becomes your reputation. Part of this is true – but your reputation does not start in the mind of someone else. Your reputation actually begins way before it becomes someone else’s opinion. You are the one who builds your reputation. You build it by the words that you use, the way you treat & respect yourself and the way you treat & respect others.
Your reputation is valuable because it leaves a lasting legacy of you in the thoughts of others. There’s a Native American proverb that says; “We will forever be remembered by the tracks we leave”. Now we can’t live our lives driven by the opinions of others (if we did we would tie ourselves in knots trying to please everyone and their dogs!); but it’s important to keep in mind that how you will be remembered is something that can stick with you for a long time.
Your reputation is also a fragile thing. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Glass, china, and reputation are easily cracked and never well mended.” William Shakespeare’s Othello grieved and lamented the loss of his reputation after he had acted foolishly, “Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself; and what remains is bestial!”
So what’s the big deal? Why is your reputation so important? Simple… because it is a reflection of your character. It’s really easy to get overly focused on the externals (how you look, act and come across to others), but the most important part of you has nothing to do with the outside – it has to do with the inside of you (your character). When you compromise your character it shows up in your life. Abraham Lincoln once said: “Your character is like a tree and your reputation like its shadow”. Your reputation is valuable, it is fragile and it should not be treated lightly. The great preacher Billy Graham said: “When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.”
So… what’s your “Rep”? What kind of lasting legacy are you leaving in the thoughts of others? Your reputation is valuable, it is fragile and it is a reflection of your character. It’s important. How will you be remembered?
“A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold” (The Bible – Proverbs 22:1)
~Joe Rioux is the Pastor of Rocky Mountain Alliance Church