this resonates with me because i am still in the process of learning what it means to not care so deeply about what other people think of me, especially people that do not really know me or have a respected voice in my life. i have been pondering this as i read scripture, especially when it says things like "For when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you," (here); and "And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?" (here).
i think scripture and don are right in predicting that playing these kinds of games--games revolving around impressing other people and looking good--will not prove satisfying in the long run.
what would my life look like if i stopped working on my reputation?
- less time perusing pinterest (i'm on an extended break as we speak).
- feeling OK with whatever i chose to post on my blog or facebook--no need to go back over it repeatedly to predict the reactions of others.
- not wasting time worrying about an unflattering photo on facebook.
- not making a disclaimer about the state of my house before someone comes over.
- feeling confident about whatever i chose to wear for the day, whether it's sweat pants or a snazzy dress with boots.
- seeing the things that i own as meaningful and special, but still separate from myself--not trying to construct my identity around owning hip or beautiful things.
- refusing to box myself in by a only few words, but recognizing the complexity of who i am as a person (the past few years i have been merely "passionate," "strong-willed," "opinionated," and "misunderstood").
- listening to whatever music i really enjoy, instead of feeling pressure to listen to "cool" bands.
- asking questions when i don't understand, rather than pretending i know.
- not worrying about the cool factor of the activities i choose to be involved in.
- refraining from making comments suggesting a particular income level or privilege to impress people.
- seeing exercise as a way to be strong and healthy, not lose weight (slowly but surely...)
- saying what i really think when asked.
interesting to note the thread of worry over appearance and material things as i read back through the list...
i hope, dear reader, that we are able to make more time this year for work on our integrity, generosity, honesty, joy, and other aspects of good character--and i pray we will also be free from the deception and emptiness of reputation-building, which is so fleeting and childish.