Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Importance Of Character Over Reputation

Photo Credit: tartanpodcast
Do you find yourself giving more thought to what others think about you or more thought to developing your own character? Donald Miller, an author who I respect for his honesty and vulnerability, offers a challenging perspective on why our character should matter more to us than our reputation.

Miller has this to say:
"So, what would it look like for us to have great character in 2012 and stop working on our reputation? Who really cares what people think? 
I learned this lesson several years ago. I ran into a person who worked endlessly on their reputation but had terrible character. When their character was revealed (which happens in intimacy) they were a complete let down. The truth is, they wouldn’t have been a let down at all if they would have been themselves. 
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. 
What I took from that relationship was difficult, but it’s something we have to face in our early twenties, usually, and that’s there’s a difference between our reputation and our character. Since then, I’ve decided not to work very hard on my reputation. Or at least I hope that’s true. I air most of my dirty laundry, so nobody will judge me. People only judge those who claim to be better than others, more holy, more righteous more moral. When I’m ethical, I just look good. When somebody who works on their reputation isn’t ethical, they find themselves in social court. Working on our reputation is just a dumb move."
To read more of Miller's thoughts on this important topic please read the complete post here.

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