- The general estimation in which a person is held by the public.
- The state or situation of being held in high esteem.
- A specific characteristic or trait ascribed to a person or thing: a reputation for courtesy.
Being in the ministry, I become more and more aware of how important it is to guard my family's reputation. Sure there have been plenty of times where Bruce or I have failed in doing or saying the right thing. Those have been heartbreaking times for us. For the most part, your name is all you have. I've heard it said hundreds of times, "I don't really care what people think about me", yet, sometimes we NEED to care. When your reputation is in question and you are a Christian, it places a hazy image of what Christ looks like to the world. Sometimes our reputations are damaged by malicious lies and anger by others and sometimes by our own actions.
Bruce being a pastor has been a good and challenging lifestyle for me. I have had to learn (not mastered yet) to hold my tongue, to keep a smile when I'd rather throw a punch, to embrace instead of push away, to lovingly correct instead of proudly walk away, to wait to react instead of reacting off the cuff, to wait until the truth comes out instead of defending myself at every inaccurate assumption that is made. It's a learning process...and it goes against almost every thing in our humanness.
Someone recently shared this verse with me: The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him. Psalm 28:7. Encouragement comes from knowing you are living a life that God is defending.
Don't get me wrong. There are times when we need to defend ourselves...there are plenty of scriptures that speak in regards to fighting too! But instead of jumping the gun and always SPEAKING up and defending ourselves...maybe we should watch the GREAT DEFENDER do His Work first!