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Monday, December 12, 2011

The Importance of Reputation

By Jonathan B. Jones II
     A recent Wall Street Journal interview with Google CEO Eric Schmidt revealed some disturbing realities about privacy and reputations in the digital age.
    The Google CEO says you may have to change your name to escape your past.
    The Internet-search-engine-giant's CEO stated, "I don't believe society understands
what happens when everything is available, knowable, and recorded by
everyone all the time." Because records are kept of all of your internet activity including internet searches, websites visited, and social networking posts, the indiscretions within the cyber world will scar your reputation and follow you throughout life. It is well known that many employers today will check social networking sites (such as twitter, Facebook, and MySpace) to evaluate the character of a prospect before serious consideration for hire. Google's CEO stated that the only way to "escape" such a wounded reputation in the future will be to legally change your name!
     Rather than trying to do “reputation damage control” after the fact, it would be far better to guard your reputation from being ruined in the first place. Scripture teaches us the importance of having a good reputation. The writer of Proverbs gives the true life-principle, "A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold” (Proverbs 22:1).
    The Preacher of the book of Ecclesiastes seconds this advice, "A good name is better than precious ointment" (Ecclesiastes 7:1). As Christians we must care about our reputations. We should put a high priority upon the value of our reputations.
     We all make mistakes in the days of our youthfulness that we regret. David prayed to God, "Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions…" (Psalm 25:7). However, there is no excuse for "sowing wild oats" because we are young. God does not excuse the indiscretions of youth.
     Accountable young people must realize there are consequences to their choices--even choices made on-line. The young man Joseph is elevated in Scripture as a young man who continued to seek God when in a foreign land (Genesis 39:9).
    Likewise the young men Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego realized that they were accountable to God even when not around their parents (Daniel 1:8).
    Actions have consequences. We reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7). We are to "sow for yourselves righteousness" (Hosea 10:12). If you sow to the wind, you can expect to reap a whirlwind (Hosea 8:7). May we all, both young and old, realize the importance of our reputations.

- Jonathan B. Jones II; via
The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.  Lance Cordle preaches for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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