Bad repute, low regard, disfavor: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/disreputation?s=t

Synonyms for disrepute: dishonor, shame, blemish, blot, brand, cloud, discredit, disesteem, disfavor, disgrace, ignominy, infamy, notoriety, reproach, scandal, scar, slur, smear, spot, stain, stigma, taint, unpopularity, ill fame, ill favor, ill repute, ingloriousness: http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/disrepute

I often find it hard to accept compliments, awards, recognitions, and other forms of accolade. I am reminded of the book written by Joan Harvey “If I’m So Successful Why Do I Feel Like a Fake: The Impostor Phenomenon”. She described me quite well.

I have known many other such souls. They act shocked when given compliments and told of the positive impressions and impacts they leave in their wakes. I, too, have received a few recognitions. I have been humbled. I have felt they should have gone to someone else. Yet, I am grateful to have been so honored. Still, I do find myself thinking, “I have no significant evidence to support the recognitions.

I have been known for my “reputation” and my “disreputation”. Evidence could readily be obtained to substantiate both. Interesting how one bad decision can sully a good reputation. Rarely has it been only one bad decision on my part.

I have certainly experienced the pain of disreputation. Sometimes it is well deserved by my own foolishness and sinfulness. Yet, other times, I have suffered disreputation because of gossip, innuendo, and assumption. Painful, to say the least. I know I am not alone, because I know others who have been similarly sullied.

In short, I have received recognition as a consequence of noble accomplishments. I have also received “recognition” due to poor decisions and deeds. My greatest pains have come when accused unfairly, even maliciously: in essence, I have not lived up to my disreputation.

We would all like to hear and see the evidence, face our accusers, and meet the people who were supposedly victims or willing participants in our disreputable behavior. It is extremely painful to be accused, convicted, and punished without an opportunity to respond or make a case. Thank God that He is the ultimate Judge.

Scripture is very clear about our goodness. Paul, who wrote Romans 3:10, makes it crystal clear: “As it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one’” and Isaiah 64: 6 states: “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. (In the Hebrew, menstrual cloth is a fair and accurate translation.) We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away” (ESV).

I have been unfair and I have been treated unfairly. I know I am not alone. Many have been greatly harmed by things spoken that have not been investigated. Consider Proverbs 18:17: “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him” (ESV). Be mindful of how much damage can be done by spreading or sharing information or misinformation. Even if information is true, there is a better way. Consider the following and be convicted and convinced with me. The better way was described by Jesus Himself.

Jesus was talking with His disciples and stated: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector” (Matthew 15:15-17, ESV).

Gossip will be the focus of an upcoming blog.