Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open
Elmer G. Letterman
This is a very important subject to me, because we live in a world where we are very concerned about how people see us. A world where people would do anything just to keep up man’s idea of him. Businessmen and organizations inflate their financial records to keep up in the eye of the public; individuals go to any extent to make others see them the way they seem.
They say we must maintain being at the top no matter the cost, steal if you have to, lie if you have to, but we must look the best in the eyes of the public. Political parties rig elections just to give the impression that they are the best. Pastors inflate the membership strength of their churches, to be named the largest church in their cities. Unnecessary competition is developed just to be at the top. People live false lives; they live pretentious lives just because they have to look good. People are not real because they are concerned about what others will say. People are dying secretly and living a double standard life because of this.
These two words are misunderstood, sometimes used interchangeably when they don’t mean the same thing.
According to John Wooden “Your reputation is who people think you are, your character is who you really are.”
Let’s get it right, Reputation is how people see you, and this is the reason why we go out of our way to do things to please people. We care so much about what others think, much more than been real. We pretend and try to keep up just because of what people will say. We are living our lives but actually living other peoples thinking. If your decisions are 100% motivated by what others think then you are not living a life, soon you will die.
Sometimes i listen to people and you hear from them “what will people say”. The interesting thing about people is that they are very unstable. The bible says Jesus did not give himself to man, why? Because he knew something about man, that’s very constant, that “man changes”, that man is unstable.
Living a life to please others is the best route that leads to failure in life and fulfillment. We must start living life understanding that there’s only person we must ultimately live to please, which is God. He never changes; he is the same yesterday, today and forever. He loves us unconditionally; his love is not predicated on what you did or didn’t do, he loves you before the foundation of the world.
Stop caring about what others think, do things because they are the right thing to do, and it pleases God, this doesn’t mean you should treat people wrongly, no, but you don’t spend time with people who are too negative and only sees the faulty side of your life, If you must grow, you need to spend time with those who critize you constructively and brings out the best in you, not those who only tell you how bad you are.
Character on the other hand is who you really are, no matter how much you pretend, you are what you are. We are told you can deceive others but you can’t deceive God and yourself, he knows you for who you are. Your character is Gods idea about you, start living your life on how God thinks about you, even if you have a fault in your life, the best way to deal with it is dwelling on the positive rather than the negative. My pastor always says “I am who God says I am” you are not what any man says you are, so stop dwelling and confessing what others have said about you “You are who God says you are”.
“For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart”
Stop trying to impress men, stop trying to impress God, stop trying to be somebody else, be yourself. God is more concerned about who you really are inside. Most of us are more righteous than King David, but God blessed him more, because he was real before the lord. Some of us already are living to please another, stop! That’s not the life God wants you to live.
You will be more productive when you live your life, doing what you are best at, stop living someone’s dreams, what are your dreams? start living your life. I dare you to be yourself, and see how God will bless you. Spend all your time developing your character, how God sees you, you can find out from the word of God his thoughts about you;
Jeremiah 29:11 “my thoughts for you are good and not evil, that you might have a hope and a future” don’t let anyone make you think otherwise.
If you have flaws don’t lie about them, character is developed in tribulations, and tested in good times. Don’t run out of that situation develop that character, because it will distinguish you later in life.
Here are some good reasons to have good character and not worry about our reputations
- God rewards character and not reputation: To care about your reputation means you care more about public opinion and not Gods opinion about you. In Matthew 6:1-6, Jesus clearly showed us about the man who cares about others opinion; he brags about his help to others, he wants people to know what he has done, because he is concerned about the opinion of others, Jesus said they received their reward already. When you do something for man and wait for commendation from them, then you don’t need the reward of the father. God rewards character, over reputation. Be more concerned about pleasing God than impressing men. Focus on doing what’s right and what’s right is what God says is right; he will reward you for doing what’s right.
- If you present yourself better than you really are, you can’t have intimacy. People who lie about who they really are are socially bankrupt and never have real and lasting relationships. They have a lot to hide; they can’t let people know who they really are.
- Tell the truth no matter what, there’s nothing more healing, than telling the truth and presenting yourself as you really are. People who can’t take you for who you really are are not your true friends. When you are with people and you don’t have that sense of freedom of been yourself you are with the wrong group of people.
- Character is for eternity and reputation is for a time.
Don’t live your life trying to impress others, there is freedom in pleasing God and been who you are. If you are living trying to please others then you are not living and you will not fulfill your purpose in life.