The Bible commands men to have a reputation of Holiness. In fact, 1 Peter 2:12 explains that a man with a Holy reputation has the power to lead others to glorify or believe in God.

Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”

What is Reputation?

Reputation is “a widespread belief that someone or something has a particular habit or characteristic,” according to Oxford Languages.

The biblical meaning of reputation is represented in a man who carries the attributes of God: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

Essentially, “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” Peter 2:12 (NIV)

Who had a bad reputation in the Bible?

Judas has a bad reputation in the Bible because he betrayed Jesus. It’s interesting because all the disciples dishonored Jesus in some way. But, Judas never repented. Peter felt remorse for denying Jesus. Paul stopped killing Christians. Paul and Peter repented for their sins. In fact, their change in behavior is what makes their story so remarkable. Anyone can change their reputation if they repent and change their behavior.

6 Lessons From Bible Verses About Reputation

1. Seek To Honor God Over People:

Choosing to practice a holy lifestyle is the best way to honor God. Sometimes that will cause us to be in a sticky situation. Should you curse with the men and women around you? Or, should you engage in sexually lustful conversations because the other men and women are? Should you allow the opinion of a leader to contradict what’s in the Bible? No! Don’t ever sin because you fear rejection and you want people to like you.

Truthfully, when you have a good reputation it doesn’t mean that everyone will like you. You can do everything right and people may still dislike you. Jesus is the BEST example of a good reputation. He did everything with integrity, honesty, kindness, love, and wisdom. Yet, people still found fault in him and He ended up on the cross.

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

2. 11 Characteristics of a Man With Good Reputation:

Do you have characteristics of a Godly man?

  • He pleases God because his heart is pure.
  • He fears and respects God. He knows that God exalts the humble and disciplines the proud. “But now [Prideful Saul’s] kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out [David] after his own heart , and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” 1 Samuel 13:14
  • He repents and apologizes when he does something wrong. “If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1:10 
  • He isn’t a hypocrite and lives what he reads in the Bible. “You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law.  For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” Romans 2:24
  • Seeking God’s heart and wisdom is His main focus. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5
  • He doesn’t get into prideful argument about being right or wrong.
  • This type of man can understand someone else’s perspective. “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” Proverbs 18:2 
  • He thinks before he speaks and corrects His errors when he missed it.
  • There is a continual goal to stay open, vulnerability and transparent.
  • He treats everyone around him with patience, kindness, and love.
  • He isn’t afraid to speak the truth in love and not fear.

3. Your Reputation Should Separate You From The Crowd:

Your reputation should be so pure and clean that you should shine even among other Christians. Similarly, Jesus stood out among others. He was a model of what true righteousness was.

In fact, Jesus was so pure and righteous that His presence revealed jealousy, pride, and wickedness within the hearts of the Pharisees. This isn’t a bad thing, if the sinners repent once their hearts are exposed.

Jesus said: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” John 15:18-19

4. You Should be Known for Patience, Compassion, Gentleness, and Kindness

Pleasing GOD and seeking His Kingdom to invade earth is the GOAL. As you accomplish this goal you should NOT build a reputation as someone that continually finds fault and criticizes others, without mercy and grace. Everyone deserves a safe place to mature – as they grow out of sin and into God. Control and harsh judgments doesn’t change anyone’s heart even if you have the BEST intentions for their soul.

We can be patient and compassionate with other’s sin and still hate sin. “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will” 2 Timothy 2:22-26

Think of God’s patience with the disciples. The Son of God stood before them and they still had trouble believing. And still, Jesus wasn’t offended or controlling. He continued to teach, correct, and build them up so they could stand strong in maturity later. Ultimately, Jesus died for sinners not to make “perfect” people feel even holier. A factor in His death was the difficulty people had escaping the grasp of Satan. We needed supernatural help (Holy Spirit).

5. You don’t need to defend your reputation.

The bible says that you should keep a good reputation, but you don’t have to defend your reputation.

Here are some stories about reputation in the Bible where God defended their reputation in the midst of judgment or fear:

  • Joseph nearly left Mary because he was probably ashamed His wife was impregnated by the “Holy Spirit.” An Angel had to tell him not to be afraid. Matthew 1:20 People probably made fun of him. It was probably hard for Joseph not to think Mary cheated on him.
  • Noah built his Ark while people laughed at him.
  • Job endured testing while His friends accused him of being sinful.
  • Joseph’s brothers thought he was lying when He had the dream that he’d rule over them.
  • Moses risked looking like a crazy zealot when He rebuked Pharaoh.
  • Jesus allowed the Pharisees to lead him to His death because they thought lowly of him.

Ultimately, God’s will protect your reputation. Focus on standing in faith and living righteously and in the right time God will restore your reputation. Everytime God’s plan was fully revealed it destroyed Satan’s attempt. For instance, Noah endured shame but when it started to rain, I bet no one was laughing anymore.

Therefore, “repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:17-21

6. Gain Favor With God rather than hoard Earthly Treasures

David was a KING. He had gold, armies, and everything known to mankind. But, He had a reputation with God as being “a man after [God’s] own heart.” 1 Samuel 13:14

Similarly, the Bible encourages us to pursue a good reputation by gaining approval from God. He doesn’t want us to be mostly known as people with things, education, money, etc. We can have things while on earth, but they shouldn’t be our BEST or LOUDEST achievements.

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold.” proverbs 22:1

Before David was King, He understood that pleasing God would take him where he needed to go. He didn’t have to people-please, sin, lie, or stress himself out trying to get anything.

Remember, “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.” Psalms 37

7. You’re a Role Model

You seek to be an example for others. You are the same behind close doors as you are in public — you don’t have hidden sin. Overall, children and spiritually young believers view you as an example of living a righteous life.

In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.Titus 2:7-8 (NIV)

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV)

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