A sterling reputation is better than striking it rich; a gracious spirit is better than money in the bank.
Proverbs 22:1 [The Message Bible MSG]
Driving in the rain with fogged up glasses can be a real hassle, even life threatening. The problem is not your eyesight, it is what you are looking through. Looking through hazy glass will always produce blurry vision. Looking through a clear glass is the best chance at accurate representation.
Our reputation is the glass through which people see us. Beyond rumors and peddled tales, everyone who comes in contact with us leaves with an imprint, glasses from which they view us. That is our reputation!
Paul suffered the effect of a tricky reputation first hand. After his conversion, the church held on to his reputation as an enemy for a long time. It took the effort of elders of the church to keep him alive and finally get him accepted. We must remember this in our dealings, we simply cannot afford to come off as lazy, obnoxious and rude. Pay attention to leaving people with the right impressions by improving yourself.
Acts 9:26 [New Living Translation NLT]
When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he had truly become a believer!
Be intentional about maintaining a good reputation. Be known for the right things; a great work ethic, honesty, and kindness.