Many of us who would never even consider robbing someone of their hard-earned possessions are less reluctant to rob them of their hard-earned reputation. If, as the proverb writer suggests, “A good name is more desirable than riches,” then robbing someone of their good name is no less injurious than inflicting physical damage on them.
And people commit this kind of robbery all the time. They might not steal your money or your car keys, but when you leave the room after being with them, they’ll turn to others and express negative, critical, or revealing words about you. In doing so, they’re committing a theft that is very hard to recover from—a theft of reputation. It’s a different kind of identity theft, one in which words can forever taint the way that someone’s name is viewed.
A good name that has been hard-won can be robbed by careless, insensitive words. Shame on us if we’re ever found guilty of that kind of identity theft!
Let’s police one another in this area and refuse to allow thieving words in to our midst. Let’s live up to our name and forever be a community of “grace.”
Scripture reference: Proverbs 22:1; Ecclesiastes 7:1