Memo 1096: Your Reputation
Let's continue to search the Psalms to see what we can learn about David so we can apply it in order to live the abundant life Jesus promised we would live. This week, there are three verses in Psalm 78 that weren't written by David but are a testimony to and summary of his time as king of Israel:
He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them (Psalm 78:70-72).
You've probably already noticed things that are relevant to our discussion but nonetheless, let me add my two cents to the mix.
A GOOD REPUTATION
God chose David when he was yet a shepherd of sheep to be the leader of His people. David's leadership purpose began in God's mind and resulted in an assignment, a call while David was still young. However, his call wasn't just a God thing, for David had a role to play. He had to carry out that call with both integrity and skill, and had to lead, not just in title but in reality. He had to make decisions, some of them wrong and short-sighted, and then had to address those mistakes—that's where his integrity came in. What the psalmist wrote reminds me of what was said about Daniel:
At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent (Daniel 6:4).
Daniel wasn't careless and he carried out his duties with the utmost care and, like David, with integrity. It seems that both these short statements about David and Daniel were written by someone else, which says that they both had a reputation for skill and honesty, and others knew they could be trusted to carry out their responsibilities with excellence. The wisdom writer summarized it this way: "A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold" (Proverbs 22:1). In short, both men had a good reputation.
Now God is giving you an opportunity to make an impact in your world in the time you have left. If you want to make the most of it, here are three things to keep in mind and pursue:
- Never stop learning and growing. Both Daniel and David had skill. That means they were good at what they did. They weren't counting on God doing what only they could do, but they were counting on His help as they sought to do their work in a way that would honor God and help others.
- It matters what others say and think. You're not leading or serving in a vacuum. Others are involved and they're watching and judging all the time. Don't take shortcuts where ethics are concerned and be mindful that you're building a reputation that will either enhance or detract from your leadership, and influence what others think of the Lord you serve.
- When in doubt, serve others. Both men used their positions of power to empower and serve others. Daniel served a pagan leader and culture and David served his people, whether he was the king or not. The best way to gain a good reputation is to be among those who will formulate and disseminate that reputation. Make your encounters with them count for good.
So to summarize, this week's PowerPoint for Living is
Be aware that you're establishing a reputation by the things you do and how you do them. While God has called you to your purpose throne, you have a role to play in your effectiveness while on it and what people remember about you once you step down.
Now get busy doing the day-by-day work of doing and being the things you want people to remember about you now and when you're gone. Have a blessed week.