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Posts Tagged ‘Proverbs 22:1’

Character, Reputation, and Esteem

July 6th, 2018

Reputation is easier to protect than repair

“Set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12 NIV.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “Character, Reputation, and Esteem.”

Reputation is what people report to others about you. Your reputation is the history of who you have been, the story of where you have been, and the record of who you are becoming. Your reputation opens doors for you or closes doors to you. Reputation is what people believe to be true of you, whether their opinion is accurate or exaggerated. A good reputation is invaluable, when it reflects Godly character. Being reputable is a valued spiritual and social priority that requires time to achieve and careful attention to sustain.

A Godly reputation is only accomplished over a length of time with practiced and predictable consistency of character. But reputation can be quite fragile, easily damaged, or diminished by uncharacteristic behavior. Solomon elevated the value of reputation above riches. “Choose a good reputation over great riches, for being held in high esteem is better than having silver or gold.” Proverbs 22:1 NLT. Reputation should be highly valued and also guarded vigilantly.

However, a bad reputation can happen more easily and rapidly than you might imagine. Once assigned to you, a poor reputation can require a lengthy time and much difficulty to repair. Protecting a reputation is easier than repairing one. Remember, reputation can either open or close doors for your potential future. Reliability is important to people, therefore it must be important to you. The Bible is clear: “Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won’t be faithful in large ones . . if you are untrustworthy . . who will trust you?” Luke 16:10-12 NLT. Reliability is a vital factor of reputation. Opportunities are directly related to past faithfulness.

Exchanging even a moment of your future for a present season of your life is shortsighted. You want it to be true of you as was written of Demetrius, “Everyone speaks highly of Demetrius. We ourselves can say the same for him.” 3 John 12 NLT. My aspiration is as was written of those people of faith and faithfulness, “They were longing for a better country – a Heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God,  for He has prepared a city for them.” Hebrews 11:6 NIV. I want to live in such a manner that my God, family, and friends would have no reason to feel ashamed.

Today I pray for you to live in a manner that is with honor and without reproach.

Christian Communications 2018

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Coincidence or Providence?

October 14th, 2011

“Let me . . glean . . after him in whose sight I may find favor.” Ruth 2:2 NKJV

“Occurrences of divine providence benevolently intersect your path every day.”

My thoughts today ask, “coincidence or providence?”

Everyone has unexpected and unexplainable occurrences so obviously out of the ordinary course of events that they are noticeable as peculiar. Such a moment might make you say, “Hmm! How did that happen?” Your response is the recognition of a coincidence, “a concurrence of events with no apparent connection.” It’s stunning when one of such moments arise. Most people explain that as luck. The question for me is this: are there really such things as mere coincidences? Is life just chance occurrences?

Good things that happen without apparent source can only be explained as random coincidence or divine providence? I choose to believe the latter! I have heard many people describe my life-long friend, Kenny, as being “born under a lucky star.” For some it was the only way to explain the good fortune and unique success his life has enjoyed. That would discount his indiscouragable optimism, joyful personality, bold faith, and passion for God. He isn’t lucky; Kenny is blessed with God’s favor! Luck, if there is such a thing, is random; blessing, and there is such a thing, is purposeful.

I find this to be true: the more a person loves and serves God with joyful obedience, the more “random coincidences” seem to occur in their life. “He who earnestly seeks good finds favor.” Proverbs 11:27 NKJV. In my life and ministry, more than once I “just happened” to be where an invaluable opportunity presented itself; I “just happened” to have met the person who could best help me do what God was asking; I “just happened” to know someone who knew someone that I needed to know. Such occurrences of divine providence, small and large, benevolently intersect your path every day. Look closely, you will see God’s fingerprints.

The book of Ruth is a wonderful, historical account of God’s hand upon a young woman, Ruth, who had experienced a series of difficult circumstances – widowed while young and childless, moving from her childhood home in Moab to Bethlehem with her mother-in-law, and poverty. In a rural, agricultural society to be without land meant to be without a means for daily provision. She and Naomi were dependent upon the benevolence of others. “Let me go to the field and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.” Read Ruth 1:22-2:11 NKJV. Ruth didn’t ignore realities; she wisely chose to rely on God’s favor. Ruth trusted God to direct her steps, finding unexpected provision and unanticipated posterity into the lineage of David and therefore into the bloodline of the Savior – all by God’s favor. Enjoy the rest of her story. Read Ruth 4:9-22 NKJV.

Favor opens doors you could not access. Favor provides opportunity you did not earn. Favor grants success beyond your skills. Others’ kindness to you is God’s benevolent favor toward you. “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor (chosen) rather than silver and gold.” Proverbs 22:1 NKJV. Let Jesus be your model; “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” Luke 2:52 NIV. The good that comes your way is providence, not coincidence.

My prayer for you today is that you experience greater reward and satisfaction than effort alone provides.

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A Good Name

October 29th, 2010

“A good name is more desirable than great riches.” Proverbs 22:1 NIV

“A good name is easier to get, than to get back.”

My thoughts today are about “a good name.”

Have you ever thought much about your name? Your name was not of your choosing; hopefully, it is to your pleasing. It relates you to your family’s generations, and identifies and differentiates you from others. My name is a combination of our family name – with all the history and heritage that represents – and the others chosen by my parents for me. I have felt pride (in the most humble way, of course!) in our family name.

The origin of my first name, Allen, is not all that noteworthy. My mother told me that I was named after her nurse’s boyfriend of all things, when my parents could not decide on a name. My middle name, Ray, is in honor of my Dad, which pleases me. And of course, Randolph, our family name, connects me with the generations of Randolphs who precede me.

When I was a teen, as I went out the door my Dad’s last words usually were, “Remember, you are a Randolph.” Somehow I knew what he meant. I carried his name – a pastor’s good name, known well and respected by those who knew him – and should respect and treat it accordingly. My Dad wanted me to know that a good name is easier to get, than to get back.

A good reputation well earned is priceless yet easily damaged irreparably; a bad reputation is hard to live down and so slow to repair. Your reputation can be the product of what you do, as well as what your friends do. So live wisely, and choose to relate to friends who pull you forward and upward, not push you downward. The Bible warns, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’” 1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV. Don’t compromise your good name, even for a friend.

How do you put a price on a good name? Solomon said, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you . . then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man . .  A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver and gold.” Proverbs 3:4/22:1 NIV. Let us remember the family name we carry, and walk worthy of the One by whom we are known and by whose name we are called. Read Colossians 1:9-14 NIV. Like my Dad reminded me, the Bible reminds us, “Let everyone who names himself by the name of the Lord give up all iniquity and stand aloof from it.” 2 Timothy 2:19 Amplified.

My prayer for you today is: value what is irreplaceable, bringing honor to His name.

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