Character and Reputation

So I am an avid fan of Donald Miller, I mean who isn’t.

Anyways, I visited his blog today and read what he had to say regarding character and reputation. As Miller said (or wrote): People don’t judge who we are, they judge who we’ve led them to believe we are.The more time and effort we put into making ourselves look great, the longer and harder the fall when the truth comes out. And eventually the truth comes out.

I agree with Miller. We as people, regardless of our faith background, spend so much time trying to improve the way people see us. We change our hair, get new clothes, build our social network – all in an attempt to make more people like us or at least in an attempt to cause people to envy us. If we spent as much time and energy on improving our character – being honest, upright individuals full of integrity, love and truth instead of boosting our reputation, we would truly be the people that others desire to see.

Here are a few other points that Miller made regarding the importance of character over reputation:

1. God rewards character, not reputation. To care about your reputation means you care more about public opinion than the opinion of God. I notice that some of my friends who work endlessly on their reputations never really advance in life, love or their careers. People who work on their reputation “have their reward in full” meaning that God has no interest in rewarding them, but they will get people to be impressed by them and that’s about all they are going to get. This is the essence of “worldliness” even though it is wearing religious clothes. The worldly person gets their pleasure and redemption and religion from the world, a person who knows God doesn’t work for an human audience. Who cares what they think, honestly. Just do the right thing because it’s the right thing and let God reward you.

2. If you present yourself as better than you are, you can’t have intimacy. People who lie about who they really are are socially bankrupt, lonely, and have a string of bad relationships. Why? Because they can’t let people know them. They are too busy trying to win in some kind of “game.” Screw the game. Make friends. Settle for being medium great. You’re heart will thank you.

3. Tell the truth. There’s nothing more healing than living in the truth and presenting yourself as who you really are. It’s easier to sleep at night.

4. When you work on your character, you’re working on the stuff that happens when nobody is looking. This is infinitely more difficult than misleading and deceiving people. But it’s the stuff that really sets you apart. It’s the stuff God rewards.

Make sure to check out the rest of Miller’s blog-post and the rest of his blog for that matter! And if you have never read Miller before, I recommend also reading A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.

You can also check out Dancing on Hot Coals, my own personal work. Available on and

One thought on “Character and Reputation

  1. Thanks for taking the time to talk about this, I really feel strongly about it and enjoy learning extra on this topic. If possible, as you acquire expertise, would you mind updating your blog with additional data? Its extremely helpful for me.

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