Our reputations occasionally may be unfairly tarnished when others spread gossip that’s not true, but over time, the judgement of public opinion rings fairly true. That can be good news or bad news, depending on the opinion!
The opinion of others are the fires in our lives to separate the noble from the selfish, the good from the bad. If we are wise, bad reports can be tremendously valuable…if we will accept them and respond with changes. But if we take ourselves off the fire by excusing our actions and blaming someone else, we won’t learn, and we won’t benefit from the heat of criticism. CICERO said *To disregard what the world thinks of us is not only arrogant but utterly shameless”.*
A good reputation takes time to earn, just as it takes time for the fire to heat ore and slowly purify gold and silver. *As refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, a man is valued by what others say of him… King Solomon* We need to pay attention to others’ opinions of us, but we would be careful not to weigh everyone’s opinion equally. Place high value on the perception of wise people, but discount the backbiting gossip of angry people or those who flatter to win your approval.
*Stay in the heat, learn hard lessons, and let God use the fires of others’ opinions to purify your heart.*
Micah Ndackson


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