Thursday, April 9, 2009

What Are You Known For?

“You need look no further for any man’s god than where he derives his identity.”Beth Moore

Actions speak louder than words. A picture is worth a thousand words. Ask a friend and a general acquaintance to describe you as though to someone else. Do they describe your actions as well as your attributes? Did they list what you like to do or what they’ve seen you do? From their words can you determine what you are KNOWN for? “She goes skiing every weekend and makes one trip a season to Colorado. She has so much ski equipment she can’t park her car in the garage….” “He collects baseball cards, he has gone to every major league game and he has a team jacket he wears all the time….” What are you known for?

Listen to how people are described to you. “He’s a great guy but he likes to smoke cigars, a little too much.” “She can be fun but don’t tell her anything you don’t want spread around.” “He gets things done but he can be really pushy if you want to make any changes.” We rarely hear the “but….” part of those statements describing us but you can figure out that part by analyzing your public image. What are in the pictures you post on Face book, My Space, your blog? Is there a similar theme running through most of them? What symbols, pictures or posters decorate your living space? Where do you spend your free time, with who and doing what?

Nobody is perfect and your friends are friends because they like you in spite of your negative aspects but you may want to take occasional assessment of “what you’re known for” in the general acquaintance circles of your life. What you find may embarrass you enough to make a change. The extreme is “Girls Gone Wild” but that behavior in varying levels on a regular to semi-regular basis, for anyone, says the same thing. You may be known as; high maintenance, a gossip, untrustworthy, self centered, snotty, too full of yourself, arrogant, a princess, god’s gift to women. The average individual wants to be seen in a positive light and is generally surprised to note they carry a negative label.

I was ‘inadvertently’ informed that I was a gossip and therefore untrustworthy. Upon further reflection, once the shock subsided, I realized this was a correct label because I enjoyed being the first to deliver “juicy” information about friends and acquaintances alike. When it was revealed to me that friends were not sharing with me BECAUSE I was untrustworthy I was hurt but even more embarrassed. I set out to change that perception of me which could only be accomplished by NOT gossiping. There is always someone willing to attach a negative adjective but, for me, a gossip and untrustworthy of a confidence is no longer among them. I want to be known for; always smiling, being friendly, having a positive attitude, laughing often, enjoying life, loving people and representing Christ as He calls us to. This only happens if I do these things. What do you do? What are you known for? What do you WANT to be known for?

"Acquiring accurate self-knowledge, which is impossible without the illumination of the Holy Spirit, is absolutely necessary if we are to recognize the perversity through which we stumble." Christianity Today editorial Self-Examination Time.