What’s Your Rep?

Posted: May 30, 2008 in musings

Unless you have lived your life in solitary confinement, you have one.  I am talking about your “Reputation”.  Everybody has one, and sometimes we don’t really even know what it is.  In a recent post I mentioned that we had a certain reputation when it came to throwing parties.  Since I wrote that, I have been mulling the thought of “reputations” around in my brain. 

I could never be a politician, someone who has their every move scrutinized and always has to be, for lack of a better word, “sucking up” to people.  I can’t stand that, and am very annoyed by people who do it.  I don’t think I would like be in a leadership position in some type of big ministry either.  To always have people looking at you and know that they were just waiting to judge your every move, would be so frustrating.

 I looked up the definition of the word “reputation” and it stated: overall quality or character as seen or judged by people in general .

I am not one to give a whole lot of thought about what others think of me.  I am not a person that needs to be loved by everybody I meet, and I rarely feel any anxiety about the opinions that others form of me.  I am thinking now, that it may be a bit irresponsible to assume that it doesn’t matter what others think.  I am torn sometime when I am told by some well-meaning people that you shouldn’t do certain things because if other people see you in a certain place or see you doing something, they might assume the wrong idea and you could lose your “testimony”.  Well, my response would be that they probably shouldn’t be judging me to start with and anyway, who cares what they think. 

 But don’t we all form judgements about others, hence, their reputation becomes what we have judged them to be.  Are we responsible to live in a way that those around us, those looking at us, could not form improper opinions?  I don’t know.

We all know of people that have certain reputations:  being late, outspoken, shy, moody, manipulator, complainer, optimist, free-spirited, needy, unreliable, dependable, hard working, honest, down-to-earth, leader, follower, loyal, giver, taker, etc.  I could go on and on.  I could probably think of somebody I know that would fit each of these characteristics.  Are these qualities really who they are or have we just misjudged them and labeled them incorrectly?

I would love it if I could know what reputations I am known by.  I would like to think that it would be some of the positives listed above, but I’m sure that there are many negatives that would be included as well. 

Should we worry or be concerned with our reputations or do we just chalk it up to others judging us that really don’t know the “real us” anyway?  I am not asking this as a rhetorical question, I would love to hear your opinions on this. 

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  1. Kim says:

    Hmmm…. perhaps it is not our reputation we should worry about. Perhaps it is Christ’s who lives in us.

  2. I think how a person defines “a reputation for throwing parties” depends more on them than on you. I take it to mean that you’re hospitable (which is a Biblical attribute). Someone who parties in the way popular culture defines partying would think you were like them….a drunk or a drug user.

    Then again, I guess I don’t see you as that kind of party-er because I’ve already formed an impression of you from your blog. You strike me as a responsible Christian woman.

  3. brumbemom says:

    Barb, Bless you for saying those nice things, but I think I may have given the wrong impression. When I said that “we have a certain reputation when it comes to parties” I was pretty much trying to be funny. I guess I shouldn’t write things like that knowing that people that don’t really know us might read it and wonder what I mean. We only throw parties for kids and usually there is a lot of, how should I say it, really gross games. My husband says it isn’t a party until someone throws up 😉 That is what I meant by that statement. I hope I didn’t in any way imply that we threw wild parties of any other kind.

  4. laurenst says:

    OK, Michele, I have a huge response to your blog, hope you don’t mind, but this has been something on my heart lately as well.

    My reputation has, many times, been of great concern to me in my life. I have been someone who desires for people to think the very best of me. I guess you could say that I have had that 1st child syndrome in which I must 1st know the rules in the social situation in which I am entering so that I can then be sure to follow them. But God has been helping me in my life to chuck most of that out the window.

    I am with you, Michele, I don’t care much about the idea of “sucking up”. God has really worked at me to be sure that I am an authentic person no matter what & that may mean not always be popular with others.

    It is very much true that even in the process of seeking the Lord’s heart, transforming into an authentic Christian woman, your reputation may not always be at it’s best even among your Christian brothers & sisters. I have learned to chalk most of that up to Satan’s desire to “divide & conquer” & remember the scripture: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the dark powers of this world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” Eph. 6:12.

    So I guess to answer your question, no I don’t think we should be worried or concerned about what others think of us, just what God thinks. Our worry of these things may in turn cause us to judge others wrongly. I have a mental image that has helped me to not become distracted by these things: I think of a plow horse with it’s blinders on, which prevents it from being distracted so that it can do it’s work. I just think of that, put on my blinders & just keep moving forward.

  5. sherrijinga says:

    Here’s my take on the situation…

    First of all, I have been to a few of those wild parties you throw, Michele… 😉 Actually, you have a rep for being flexible, laid back, ready to try new things, and spontaneous.

    I think that we are all fruit inspectors. We cannot judge whether someone is a Christian or not and we shouldn’t judge each other. But, it is our job to inspect the fruit and to hold each other accountable. Now, having said that, I think if we go around pointing our fingers at our Christian brothers and sisters and nit-pick over their tardiness or out-spokenness (I said that first because that’s my rep), moodiness, etc., then we’re wrong. If we are trying to help them walk along the path in the image of God, and we see sinful behavior, then maybe some of the things they have a rep for should be pointed out.

    Should we worry about our rep? I think if our rep reflects poorly on the Lord, then a resounding YES!!! Like Kim said, if what we do makes others think poorly of the Lord, then we should change that rep or the behavior that caused it.

    We can’t ever keep others from thinking poorly of us. Like Lauren said, sometimes people think poorly when you’re living for the Lord. So there are times that you just have to throw it all out the window and just stay focused on the Lord and what he wants for you.

    It’s like when we’re raising our kids…we pray that the Lord will guide them toward their path and that we will have a part in that. We also want them to be obedient to Him. When others come along and judge how we are raising them when we know we’re following the Lord…that burns me up. That’s when you have to say, “Who cares what others think?” So…I guess sometimes you do need to care and then other times you just flick them away like a fly on a sandwich at a picnic. 😉

  6. Don’t worry, I didn’t get a negative impression, though I didn’t know your parties involved throwing up, lol!

    I agree with your other commenters that ultimately, what others think does not matter as long as we’re obeying God. OTOH, if we’re in the wrong, it’s the Holy Spirit we should be listening to most closely.

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