Disreputable

Reputation Words on Box Credible Reliable ProductI began my career as a REALTOR in February 2003. I remember hearing a slogan that my brother used in his real estate advertisement. His slogan went like this: “I’m building a reputation, not resting on one”.  I’m pretty sure that the phrase was offensive to some and challenging to others. I knew what he meant, because he had just started his own firm. I remember deciding that I will always be building my reputation every day of my life. I’ve seen people who destroy their entire reputation with one bad decision. Except for the grace of God, that could have been me. I think about dumb decisions all the time and I think about the destruction that would left behind if I were to make a really dumb decision. I decided that I can’t spend a lot of time in that place though. I must keep my focus on growing and learning and as I do this, the thoughts of dumb decisions fade away. I want to grow and improve who I am becoming in the Lord’s eyes. I believe any success that I have as a REALTOR comes because the Lord is leading and directing my life. He is the reason, I’m careful to be honest, live and serve with integrity and have a strong work ethic.

Jesus calls Matthew (aka Levi) from his tax collection booth and asked him to be his disciple. Jesus obviously saw something in Levi that would benefit the kingdom. Levi followed Jesus. Check this out…

15 Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) 16 But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?”

17 When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” (Mark 2:15-17 NLT)

I am blown away by the arrogance of the Pharisees and the religious leaders. They really didn’t seem to care about anyone but themselves. They were concerned about their reputation more than they were concerned for lost people. When I put myself in this passage, I would have been considered one of these “disreputable sinners” or “scum”, according their definition.

When I gave my life to the Lord, He changed me.

He changed how I see others.

He changed how I see my work.

He changed my view of marriage.

He changed my view of being a Dad.

He changed my view of being a friend to others.

If I’m following the Lord fully, you can call me what you will. He is the reason I seek to serve others with honesty, integrity & hard work. These are my values, because they are His values too. I’d rather keep my reputation in tact with Him than to worry too much about what others are saying about me.

I need the Lord every day of my life. I haven’t walked with Him enough to “take a break”. He is woven into the fabric of who I am. I need His healing upon my heart daily. I need His wisdom daily. I need His Presence constantly.  I am definitely one of the “sick people who need a doctor”. I guess I’m saying that I’m a disreputable person who needs the Lord each day.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Reputation

 

reputation conceptual meterI’ve learned over the years that my reputation is based on many factors, but honesty and integrity stand near the top if they are not the top. I believe that others look at my behavior and make a judgement. If I made a decision they didn’t like, they might try to use that to tarnish my reputation. I care much about my reputation, but if I stay there too long, I’m worried too much about what someone else thinks of me versus what the Lord thinks of me. If the Lord knows me like no one else, He is the judge of my very heart. I believe my reputation is determined by where my heart is.

King David speaks of the Lord’s reputation and it’s clear that He knows the Lord and is trying to follow Him. David’s reputation as a man after God’s heart is based on his walk with God. His writings reveal his walk. Check this out…

The Lord is good to all;
    he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All your works praise you, Lord;
    your faithful people extol you.
11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom
    and speak of your might,
12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
    and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and your dominion endures through all generations. (Psalm 145:9-13 NIV)

I make bunches of decisions and choices each day and I don’t always have a ton of time to prepare. I must make decisions based on the information that I have in front of me at the point the decision needs to be made. The cycle of reputation begins in my heart, then moves to my behavior and the perception of that behavior. The Lord has inside information to my reputation because He knows every thought and every motive. I’m not concealing anything from Him. I’m confessing everything to Him. Confession is agreement. I care more about my reputation before the Lord than what others think of me. I can’t control what others think or do regarding me. I can only have influence and control over my behavior or response to them. My behavior and response to others comes directly from my heart and the work that the Lord is doing there.

I want others to know of the Lord’s reputation and not be super concerned or worried about my own. He is Creator God. He loves like no other. His mercy and grace is beyond description. I really want to live for Him and honor Him. I want to be known as a follower of the Lord – a man after God’s heart.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Renown

fameThis is not a word that I use in everyday conversation, but it is a word that I have used in speaking about The Lord.  I looked it up and there is not a lot of detail in it’s definition. It simply means: “widespread high repute; fame”. (On a side note, “high repute” means high reputation, high estimation in the view of other, a good name, respect.) I want to be a man known for making The Lord famous and not seek the spotlight in the process. His fame and His renown is significant because He changes lives. He builds beautiful people out of broken situations. He restores people who have been discarded. He forgives and lifts the fallen. His Power and His Presence leave me in awe.

The Psalmist asks that we praise the Lord and lift His name. Check this out…

I know that the Lord is great,
    that our Lord is greater than all gods.
The Lord does whatever pleases him,
    in the heavens and on the earth,
    in the seas and all their depths.
He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth;
    he sends lightning with the rain
    and brings out the wind from his storehouses.

13 Your name, Lord, endures forever,
    your renown, Lord, through all generations. (Psalm 135:5-7,13 NIV)

The Lord is famous without me saying so. I do believe that He is Who He says He is. I do believe that those who refuse to believe in Him today will one day bow before Him – possibly too late. I have been on a journey with the Lord for the past few years that has been at a different level than when I was young. I think I understand Him and know Him more personally because of suffering and struggle. I have been through some hard situations and when suffering comes, some of the distractions and shallow thinking exits. The Lord leans into me during suffering. He has not once left me alone in suffering and struggle even though I’ve left Him. I feel like the Psalmist is praising the Lord profoundly because he was humbled through suffering and struggle, yet restored through forgiveness and kindness of the Lord.

I want others to know the Peace that comes with the Presence of God. It is not magical, but it is practical. The Lord is Who He claims to be in scripture. He did create the heavens and the earth. He does save all who believe on Him. I just wish everyone could know what I know and feel what I feel and experience Him first hand. The crazy part is He just needs to be invited into one’s heart. I’m trying hard to give Him total control of my life, my thoughts – all that is me.  I really don’t care about becoming famous, but I want my life to make Him famous. He has done all the work saving me and shaping my heart, my words, my life. He gets all the credit for any good that I have possibly done or said. His renown is the goal of my life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Reputation

 

reputation conceptual meterThis word speaks to what others believe about me. To a certain extent, I can’t control what others think of me. Perception is not always correct, but to those who have a certain perception it’s reality for them. I’m aware that there can be huge misunderstanding and communication issues in nearly every circumstance, but I can often correct this when I’m aware of it.

I love the story of Ruth meeting Boaz for the first time. I love how the passage of scripture says that as Ruth went out to glean the fields for leftover grain, “she happened to glean in the field of Boaz”. I don’t see this as accidental. I love it when God is behind the scenes orchestrating and organizing – He’s always doing this. After Boaz finds out who Ruth is, he instructs his workers to give her water to drink and not to bother her. He made the work as easy as he could for her. She is stunned by his kindness. Check this out…

10 At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, ‘Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me – a foreigner?’

11 Boaz replied, ‘I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband – how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12 May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.’ (Ruth 2:10-12 NIV)

I love how the day-to-day love and respect that Ruth shows her mother-in-law was noticed. She didn’t love Naomi and stay with her to get noticed – she did what she did out of love, respect and honor for her. I believe that my choices today continue to build (or tear down) my reputation among people where I live and work. I received a phone call this past Friday and a guy had been given my name as a good REALTOR. The person who gave my name is a friend and acquaintance. This friend spoke of my reputation and the guy he gave my name to wanted me to list his house. I really try to serve each client or customer with the utmost care and professionalism, but this guy was a referral based on my reputation and I’m busting it hard to serve him.

I believe that reputation can be a fragile concept. I can spend years building my reputation only to destroy by stupid choices or behavior. I believe that I should live today totally aware of how the things I do affect my reputation in the future. I have a lot of control of my reputation when it’s drilled down to my daily actions and my attitude.

I want to be known as a follower of Jesus.

I want to be known as an honest and honorable man.

I want to be known as a good husband and Dad.

I want to be known as an excellent REALTOR.

I want to be known as a leader in the community.

I want to have a stellar reputation as I’m consistently following the Lord. I want Him to give me favor with strangers, acquaintances, friends and referrals.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Word Gets Around

Reputation Words on Box Credible Reliable ProductI’ve heard it said that “word gets around in a small town”. I think it’s bigger than that – word gets around in any town. There are times when a person’s reputation (or lack thereof) precedes them. What they’ve done before is known and therefore people form their opinion based on the word that got around. Sometimes this can be a good thing and at other times it can be bad. For example, if word gets around that a pretty famous person is living in my neighborhood, then, word would certainly get around. If the person wanted privacy and seclusion, then the word getting around would not be good for him.

So Joshua sends two spies into the city of Jericho to scope it out. They went to the house of a prostitute named Rahab. (Word gets around.) Rahab had heard about the Israelites. Their reputation preceded them. She hid them from the authorities and even conspired to protect them. Check this out…

8 Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof 9 and said to them, ‘I know that the Lord has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10 We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. 11 When we heard of it, our hearts sank and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.

12 ‘Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign 13 that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them – and that you will save us from death.’ (Joshua 2:8-13 NIV)

I love this story because it’s a story of the faith of an “outcast from society”. Rahab was categorized as someone who had thrown her life away. She ends up being used by God for His people and she ends of saving her entire family. I’m sure that is quite a twist in the story of her family heritage.

Rahab is also mentioned in the hall of fame of faith in Hebrews. Check this out…

31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient. (Hebrews 11:31 NIV)

God uses ordinary people who have faith to do great work in His kingdom. He doesn’t always use the wealthy or the famous. He often uses ordinary, humble people to do big things for Him. As I live and walk out my faith where I’m at – the Lord can use anything or everything I have for His glory and His fame. I want word to get around about just how incredible and amazing the Lord is. I want others to know that you can count on Him to “never leave you or forsake you”. I want word to get around about Who God is and what He’s capable of doing.

I want word to get around that I’m a man who follows the Lord.

I want word to get around that I’m a man who does what is right.

I want word to get around that I’m a REALTOR you can trust.

I want word to get around that my company; Metro West Realty serves with excellence – always!

The word always gets around – I can’t always control what that “word” is – but I can control my response to each situation that I face and seek to honor God with how I handle myself.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Well Respected

 

Senior Man - WisdomThere are some people I know that their good character shines forth and when I meet them, I have immediate respect for who they are and what they stand for. There are others I know who have the opposite reputation and it shows. I believe if I’m around others long enough, their character comes out. Character comes out in conversation and behavior.

Abraham had a stellar reputation among the Hittites. He lived among them when his wife Sarah died and he was looking for a burial place to purchase. Check this out…

3 Then Abraham rose from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites. He said, 4 ‘I am a foreigner and stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so that I can bury my dead.’

5 The Hittites replied to Abraham, 6 ‘Sir, listen to us. You are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb for burying your dead.’ (Genesis 23:3-6 NIV)

I love the compliment that they gave to Abraham.. “You are a mighty prince among us”. That was a strong statement about the kind of person he was among them. His character was duly noted and when he was in need, the people were happy to able to meet his need.

I care deeply about my reputation – which is the perception of my character. The Lord knows my heart. He knows my every motive and move. He is the One Whom I answer to, but I believe it is also important to be known for Godly character. I am a human, but I want to be known as a man who seeks the Lord in every facet of my life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne