I lived the majority of my life trying to build and protect my reputation. In that process, I didn’t do the hard work of character development.
Reputation and character are two different things.
Reputation is what others believe to be true about you. Character is who you really are. When you’re driven by reputation, then you begin to equate what you project to others as your character.
We guard our reputation and forego our character.
We can’t let others know we’re struggling.
We can’t share our marriage problems with anyone.
No one can find out about our addiction.
We have to pretend like we have it all together on Sunday at church because people are counting on us to be leaders.
We can’t go to counseling; what if someone finds out how broken we are?
For many of us, we get to a place where protecting our reputation is more important than healing our heart. There are major problems. There are major issues. There has been a major mess up … but often we don’t acknowledge it. We pretend like it hasn’t happened. We act like it’s no big deal.
Trust has been broken; addictions have been revealed; hidden sin is now pushed into the light; but so many of us are more concerned about our reputation than we are our heart. We’re more concerned about what others think about us than who we really are.
When losing your reputation is the driving force of your life … healing is a long way off. When you care about people finding out you are broken more than you care to be whole … you’re in for a long, painful, repetitive journey.
Pretending they don’t exist won’t make your lust issues go away. Acting like you are an honest person won’t help you stop lying. Keeping your marriage problems from your family and friends won’t help you avoid divorce. Being nice when people are around doesn’t make up for the anger issues you have in private. Playing like you have lots of money when what you really have is lots of debt won’t allow you to live in freedom.
Protecting your rep isn’t the same as guarding your heart.
The most courageous and the most freeing step you can take is to ask for help.
It may cost you in the court of public opinion, but it will bring healing to your soul and freedom from the game of pretending.