Developing Your Reputation for Christ

Many of us overlook the importance of developing our reputation. This reputation should be one that displays a strong character and a sharp mind; one that adds to our value in the eyes of those around us.

If we believe we are ambassadors of Christ, we are to be conscious of our reputation because it can either be good or bad.

Being ambassadors of Christ

According to some definitions, an ambassador is a high ranking official representative of their country. He is someone who clearly understands the value, history and philosophy of his nation and puts his country’s interest above his own. 

Likewise, as Christians we need to imbibe the spirit, the power, the philosophy, the sense of purpose and the mission of the kingdom of God. We are sent out into our world to represent that kingdom.

This leads us to some hard questions we need to ask ourselves:

“What reputation am I building within the marketplace?”

“Am I known to be reliable or unreliable?”

“Does my reputation enable me to effectively bring the gospel across to others?”

“Or are my words and actions a constant stumbling block that hinders others from approaching Christ?”

Like it or not, we all have a responsibility as individuals to strive to grow and develop ourselves in all areas where required such as our character, intelligence and competence related to our profession. Even more so a greater responsibility for us Christians who are called to represent His kingdom.

Living out this privileged responsibility

As famously quoted from St. Francis of Assisi, “Preach the gospel at all times and used words only when necessary.”

In order to win people to Christ, we first have to win them to us. We can’t expect others to want to know more about our faith if we cannot even get them past who we are and what we stand for.

So let’s live out our responsibility and not let reputation ‘just happen’ to us. We need to build it intentionally; knowing the kind of person that we want to be and going to work on being that person.

If we want people to trust us, then we need to work on our trustworthiness as someone who gets the job done. Credibility comes from reputation which instills confidence towards our words, actions and choices.

Your reputation is a revelation of your character.

More about Achievers

Zooming in on Achievers, Dr Adele Scheele further explained that they have three qualities that set them apart from the Sustainers.

These are:

1. Self-Presentation

Success breeds success. Employers want proven winners. But Achievers are also able to demonstrate how their past knowledge and experience can be useful in their new assignment.

They are able to do this by translating skills and aptitudes- even when the past experience is not directly related to their present opportunity.

While Sustainers wait for opportunity to knock on doors- and it does not happen; Achievers have perfected the art of catching fireflies of opportunity- before the brief life of a firefly comes to an end.

2. Positioning

Achievers have the “knack of being at the right place at the right time”. Others may attribute this to luck, but it is not as simple as that.

They have a goal or goals. They know where they are going. They have a plan- sometimes unconsciously. Therefore, when an opportunity arises they are able to grab it and make great use of it.

Sustainers believe in a fair system- and they remain timid, on their best behaviour, waiting to be rewarded. And it does not happen.

3. Networking

Achievers have good people management skills that enable them to motivate, inspire and to lead people.

They understand the art of good human relations which depends on two important requirements- the ability to use empathy and the ability to communicate.

Empathy is the ability to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and see the problem from his perspective. And the ability to communicate ensures good relations.

Our World of Sustainers and Achievers

If we truly resolute to live a life that is full and making it count, I believe we (especially Christ-followers) need to move towards being Achievers.

In a book written by Dr. Adele Scheele, our world of working people divides into two distinct groups of Sustainers and Achievers.

As Achievers, we display a life of value-add and success (in stature and competence) as the head and not the tail; above and not beneath; victorious and not defeated.

Below is a brief description of the two:

About Sustainers

  • The consist of the majority in our world
  • They spend 70 per cent of their work life doing their job well- and 30 per cent unconsciously waiting for recognition for what they have done
  • They have the “school student mindset”- we work hard; we wait for compliments from our teacher; we get high marks as a result of our hard work; we get promoted to the next class; we win awards for our proficiency. There is a smooth flow; a direct resultant output from the input
  • Sustainers have ‘tunnel vision’

About Achievers

  • They are fewer in our world and they are more successful
  • They might be working as hard or even harder but better and differently from Sustainers
  • They do not fall inito the deadly trap of watching others move up (the corporate ladder)- and watching them with both envy and contempt
  • Achievers create a climate of what is now called ‘constructive disobedience’. They don’t just work harder- but look for innovative ways of doing the job better or easier or faster
  • They have ‘helicopter vision’

Making Every Point Count in a Race

It is commendable that despite having more popular votes in snap polls against John McCain, Barack Obama never rest his laurels.

He was not never waiting for chance to repeat what his former Democrat presidential nominee, Al Gore had experienced during the 2000 Presidential elections. Back then, Bush narrowly won with 271 electoral votes to Gore’s 266.

As this week’s election results showed, Obama fought hard for every vote from Americans including territories that were traditionally Republican dominated. And he managed to achieved a winning feat of 349 electoral votes against McCain’s 174.

Winning is the name of the game

Are all these hard-pressed efforts necessary?

Well think Felipe Massa, the Brazilian Ferari’s driver. Early this month, he lost the Formula One (F1) World Championship title to Lewis Hamilton by a mere one point.

That same mere one point also made Hamilton the youngest ever F1 Champion at 23 years old.

In the 1998-1999 season of the English Premier League (EPL), it was one point that gave Manchester United its most successful season as treble winners. They edged Arsenal with 79 to 78 points to end the season as EPL champions.

In all races or games, every vote or point matters; that one point might just differentiate the winner from the losers.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize…  No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

1 Corinthians 9:24,27

Living all the way for the Lord

Though the chances of us being presidential nominees or sportsmen to not come by all the time, but as Christians how are we making every minute, every day and ounce of our energy count for the Lord and His will for our lives?

For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation…

Acts 13:36

Taking our cue from both the Apostle Paul and King David, both are great examples of a Christian’s life that made sure every ounce of God’s grace upon their life was well-spent despite the adversities.

Both not only ended the race well, but from the start till the end, they did what they did with passion, excellence and purpose.

Likewise, I believe each of us need to know the race route that has been marked out for us and complete it in our own generation.

With understanding who we are in Christ- our identity; our destiny; His presence, His promises and the Holy Spirit- we can be confident of achieving all that we need to for His glory.

More Obamania

Catch this two-minute clip of Obama’s stirring speech that was made before his historic victory as elected President for the US during last year’s Democratic National Committee Meeting.

Now the whole world eagerly awaits to see if this man will deliver the change that everybody yearns for.

America Has Decided

Making history as the first black US President, Barack Obama won the votes by a landslide to enter the White House as the nation’s 44th President come 20 January 2009.

This result will be like a ray of light piercing through the dark clouds of our global stormy situation, offering a glimpse of hope to many.

Stretching Towards Living a Value-Add Life

“If you are a follower of Christ, then you are mandated by God to be a voracious, intentional learner. You cannot allow yourself to settle, to be less than your best in whatever field of endeavor you have committed yourself to.

You must always strive toward excellence in whatever you pursue. And you are not allowed to ignore the world around you – otherwise known as the real world.

You are not supposed to be a relic of the past or even a preserver of the past. You are to be in the world making it a better place to live. Rise to the top and see what God can do with your life.

This doesn’t always mean you will be the best in the world at what you do, but you are supposed to be the world’s best you…..

Bring your best and move forward with confidence that God’s incredible ingenuity will use even your shortcomings to do amazing things through your life.”

Erwin Raphael McManus