One of the most powerful ways we can advance in holiness is by learning to not defend our reputation.
We all have a natural desire to want to be liked by other people. It is also a good thing to have an excellent reputation.
Unfortunately, due to pride and childhood wounds, we sometimes become too focused on what other people think about us.
Let the comments go. Don’t respond. Don’t say anything!
Jesus never corrected people who slandered his reputation or misunderstood him. He was called a drunk, a glutton, a blasphemer, a heretic – even the devil! During the trial in which His life was at stake and he was falsely accused, He didn’t speak up to defend Himself.
We have an opportunity to imitate Jesus every day by not letting other people’s opinion of us affect us. Here are some practical ways to learn how to not be so concerned about our reputation.
Take a break from selfies and posting pictures on social media. These things make us overly concerned with how we look and what other people will think of us. Also, it is online that we are most tempted to defend our reputation.
Pray the Psalms! The Psalms are filled with the emotional experience of being attacked or defamed for no reason.
Psalm 62, for example, is an urgent plea to be rescued from people “who delight in lies; with their mouth they utter blessing but in their heart they curse.”
In the moment, you are tempted to defend your reputation, ask yourself “am I trying to please God or to please human beings?”