He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. (Psalms 37:6 NLT)
We often worry about our reputation more than we should, rather than being concerned with a clean conscience that produces godly character.
It is effortless in this sinful world to invert our priorities, where reputation takes precedence over conscience and character. It has been said that reputation is what others think about us, and character is what God knows to be true about us. Reputation can be a positive or negative exaggeration about us. In this world, a godly character can cause you to lose your reputation. Dwelling on changing your reputation can be an exercise in futility. You are trying to change something over which you have no control. Yes, reputation is affected by having a clean conscience and godly character, but it is accomplished not by dwelling on what people think about you, but by how God views you. Character is who we are when no one is looking, and it stems from the condition of the heart.
It seems pretty easy to get these virtues mixed up. How do we ensure we get these in proper order? By dwelling first on a clear conscience before God. If we do, a godly character will follow, and among those who matter, reputation will fall into place. Who matters? God and those who think and act like him. Denying our conscience to prop up our reputation, is like a dog chasing its tall.
Are you being falsely accused, or are your faults being greatly overstated? Join the club. Keep a clear conscience and let God take care of your reputation. If you do, God promises “the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.”
Image used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing