I instinctively protect my own reputation. I suspect we all do. It’s only natural – a bit like our avoidance of physical pain. There are more kinds of pain than physical. Knowing that people think poorly of us is painful, even if the pain isn’t physical.
As I said, I think we all protect our own reputations. We don’t want the pain of shame. But what about our neighbors’ reputations?
The simple truth is that we should be just as concerned for our neighbor’s reputation as we are for our own. We should not needlessly broadcast the faults and shortcomings of the people around us. We should instead be quick to let people know about our neighbor’s strengths. After all, isn’t that how we’d all like to be treated?
Every church I know of accepts the golden rule. Christians claim to be all about “Loving God and Loving People.” The motto is a good one. We want to treat people like we would like to be treated. But living out that lofty ideal is a constant struggle. We can live lives of sacrificial love through the power of the Holy Spirit. Let’s pray for his help in guarding one another’s reputations just as zealously as we do our own.