Reputation vs. Character


Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. – Galatians 1:10


Throughout history, there have been a proliferation of sports scandals at the amateur and professional levels. In most, if not all of the situations, there was a key moment of decision when the allegations surfaced. The choice was between character and reputation.

Ideally, each of us would like to have both – strong character and a good reputation. However, circumstances often force us to choose one or the other. If I choose character, then my integrity will lead me to do the right thing, perhaps even at the expense of the reputation of my organization, family or myself. If I allow the most important issue to be how something will look to others, then I will immediately go into damage control and take actions to limit any news getting out. This can easily lead to a delay or absence of proper accountability.

"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” --Coach John Wooden

The apostle Paul states clearly in Galatians that he is not striving to please people, but God. He played for an Audience of One. Shortly after I accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, my FCA Huddle Coach, Coach Myers, took me to my first Christian concert. Petra sang “Godpleaser” which includes these lyrics: I just want my life to glorify His Son, To Make my Father proud that I’m His child before I’m done. No need to pat me on the back or stop to shake my hand, I just want to hear my Father say, “Well done, well done." Don’t wanna be a manpleaser, I wanna be a Godpleaser. (Written by Bob Hartman)

You will have opportunities throughout your life to uphold both your reputation and your character. Sometimes you might have to choose one. May you always desire to please God and make the choice that honors Him.

  1. What matters more to you: the opinion of others or the opinion of God?
  2. When you do wrong, are you more focused on the wrongdoing or on getting caught?
  3. Could you be satisfied if God were pleased with you but everyone in the world was displeased?
  4. What if everyone in the world was pleased with you, but God was displeased?

1 Timothy 2:4 Colossians 3:23 1 Samuel 16:7 Hebrews 4:12-13


Lord, I am tempted to point the finger and judge others. Help me to look into my own heart. I want to play and live for you and seek to please you. Give me the strength to right the wrongs in my life, even when it may make me look bad in the eyes of others.

Bible Reference: 
Hebrews 4