Week 10 Becoming Wiser – “Wisdom in Our Character”
Pursuing A Good Name
Pastor Dave Steeves
September 3, 2017
There are many that desire a famous name, but ______people desire a good name.
“A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold”. (NIV)
“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold”. (ESV)
“Being respected is more important than having great riches. To be well thought of is better than silver or gold.” (NCV)
“A sterling reputation is better than striking it rich; a gracious spirit is better than money in the bank.” (MSG)
Those actions that cause your name to be highly esteemed or in good favor are the ______of what you have been intentionally working on the inside.
How do you pursue a good name?
Desire for a good name is one thing, but you need to be ______about daily choices.
- With the ______help
Proverbs 3:3-4, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”
Maturity in the Christian Life is measured by only ______, how much closer to HIS character have I become?
1 Samuel 16:7, “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t look at how handsome Eliab is. Don’t look at how tall he is. I have not chosen him. God does not see the same way people see. People look at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
- With ______
- With strong ______grounded in Scripture
- By remembering who you are ______
2 Corinthians 5:20, “We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade
men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.”
We seek a good name, not to honor ourselves but to ______Christ our Lord
whose ______is above all names.
Can we repair a damaged reputation?
What happens when through our own decisions, actions and behaviour we damage our reputation? Can we make a comeback? Warren Buffett once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.” So, is there any hope? The answer is yes, but it will require a lot of work and a lot of grace.
1) Reputation is based upon character:
To salvage a damaged reputation, we must come back to the content of our character.
We must follow 3 steps: Admission, Apology, and Repentence. Admission means acknowledging our wrongs, accepting we’ve made faulty decisions and admitting we’ve made a mistake. This is quite a humbling experience – but humility is good for our soul and a key ingredient to character (1 Peter 5:5-6). When we admit our own mistakes instead of being caught in a mistake, we will begin to regain respect. Saying the words out loud to another person, “I was wrong” will change the tide for you and your good name. It’s when we continue to excuse ourselves and make excuses for our attitudes, actions and behaviour that we lose. Also, it’s amazing how a well-placed apology goes a long way in helping us to regain a good reputation. There is a power admitting a mistake and being willing to apologize – but most importantly, there is power in repentance, determining to change your behavior and change your mind about this action and by God’s grace never make this mistake again! If we have damaged our reputation through one act, then this process works quickly. If we have a reputation for repeatedly being rude, impolite, dishonest, immoral, moody, prickly, too sensitive, tardy, disorganized, etc, work to restore a good name will take longer. Some bad decisions will carry prolonged consequences – it takes time to restore trust.
2) Changing a reputation
You can't buy a good reputation; you must earn it. Faulty character leads to faulty decisions. We need to work on the content of our character. Goodness is all about character - integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people. Remember good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character. Work on your weaknesses – develop strategies for strengthening your resolve to make moral decisions. Whatever your weakness – work on it.
3) Integrity is developed by the people you allow in your life.
If you want to rebuild your reputation never underestimate the power and the influence of your friends - people you choose to spend time with (Prov. 12:26, 22:24-25). Good friends will stretch you and help you to develop good character through challenge, good advice, correction and their godly wisdom. They will teach you, instruct you and be good examples of good character. Surround yourself with people of good character. Be cautious in your friendships.
4) An inspiring and grace filled environment
Get around people of grace and mercy and who are willing to forgive you and restore you. If you are around people who are small minded, easily hurt, or show little compassion you’re going to struggle (Gal. 6:1-3). A redemptive community forgives and shows grace. Those who live by the Spirit are called upon to restore a person and to do this with gentleness. In this atmosphere of forgiveness there is accountability The most gracious and forgiving person is Jesus Christ. Willing to give another chance after another chance – He’s a person totally sold out to seeing you grow and become healthy spiritually, emotionally and mentally. He loves you – gave His life for you. He works deep in your life and in areas only He can work. Jesus can change you from the inside out – Jesus can restore a good name – Jesus can forgive you, and Jesus can give you a brand-new life.