reputations: with or without them


Have you ever thought about reputations? Or others’, specifically?

Look around and you’ll notice that everyone around you has a reputation. Ben is funny. Billy’s the class clown. Annie is a bit socially awkward. Leah is preppy and always has the latest Hollister clothes.

When you go to a new school, you quickly learn you have a reputation to make and keep. You act how you want to be known: cool, smart, funny, athletic. You build up a reputation, even if you’re not trying to. You may be the person who’s always alone or the “innocent” one who doesn’t swear or party. You may be the cool guy who does the opposite of that. You may be accepted into the common social group because you gossip and constantly talk about boys. Or you may be the outcast because you aren’t into makeup, boys or gossip. You may be the smart kid who gets straight As. Regardless of how you act, you are building a reputation.

Even if you don’t try to establish a certain reputation, you’ll get one. It doesn’t have to be obvious — but it’s essentially what other people think of you as or consider you. You get a reputation by your actions whether you try to or not.

There’s no escaping reputations. They’re everywhere — school, church, the workplace.

We tend to accept those with the “good” reputations. Cool, normal-acting, smart, funny. But we tend to not hang out with those who have “bad” reputations: nerdy, weird, awkward.

God calls us to accept everyone because they’re human. Because they’re loved by God. Even those without reputations. God doesn’t say, “Love your normal neighbor as yourself.” He says “Love your neighbor as yourself,” regardless of their reputation.

Furthermore, try not to give anyone a “reputation.” Try to not brand them by a certain characteristic. Instead, when you meet someone new, think, “I’m going to accept this person.” Not, “If they’re funny, I’ll probably hang out with them more than if they are serious.” Try not to think of someone as a certain characteristic; instead, accept them regardless of their personality.

I challenge you to think of one of your friends who some may consider “socially awkward.” Instead of hanging out with your “cool” friend, hang out with them. Look beyond their “social awkwardness” and look into their heart. You may be surprised by what you find. 🙂

Emily-Sue

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Praise You in This Storm


Such a powerful song; I love the last stanza of the lyrics: “I lift my eyes up to the hills / Where does my help come from? / My help comes from the Lord / The Maker of heaven and earth“. (Psalm 121:1 – 2!)

Lyrics

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can’t find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth