God on Monday
‘Woe to you when all speak well of you’ (Luke 6.26a)
Within the world of work, reputation matters. Without it, an individual can expect little rapport with colleagues and trust from clients.
With a social media awash with endorsements, reviews, ‘likes’ and trolls, there may never have been a time in history in which what people think of other people is so publicly accessible, and so speedily influenced and manipulated.
The old adage that reputations take a lifetime to build but only seconds to destroy now seems all too evident. Today’s ‘cancel culture’ reflects our newfound ability to rapidly mass-mobilize the social ostracization of those whose views we dislike.
Many respond to this culture with fear. They determine only to do and to say those things that will preserve their kudos. But in the upside-down world of Jesus’ teaching, people who take a lifetime to build their reputation could live a wasted life. Their lives could be filled with ‘woe’, to cite from his saying above, rather than with blessing.
It all depends on whose approval we seek. Is it God’s or is it other people’s? If we care only about the former, we need have no concern for the latter. To be cancelled by others may reflect approval from God. For within God’s kingdom, reputation is not everything.
Ask yourself how much you will allow your work this week to be influenced by what other people think of you. Determine that your words and actions will be motivated by truth and love, regardless of any consequences for your reputation. Affirm the good you see in others, even if they are unpopular. Resist cancel culture and its grip of fear.
‘Search me, God, and know my heart;
Put me to the test and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there is any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way’ (Ps 139.23-24).
Why not visit TAP, the ‘social thanking’ platform, to leave a positive comment about a worker or their organization?
The ‘cancellation’ of the award-winning author Kate Clanchy provides a morality tale on the importance of reputation (story here).
Peter S Heslam, Director of Faith in Business
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