Reputation Management

01 Jan

Ever heard of the phrase “reputation management”? It’s something we all engage in to one degree or another – we want to manage the way others view us, make sure they see us from our good side, not our bad, and as a result there are subtleties in how we communicate.

Social Media provides an easy illustration. Who puts an ugly picture of themselves on Instagram? Who posts unflattering information about their children on Facebook? Yeah, yeah, I know, there are the few oddballs who do both, but most of us normal people want “our public” to only see the good stuff, the happy times, not the sad, the outstanding, not the mediocre. The bumper stickers which say, “My child is somewhere in the middle of the pack academically at Waupun High”, well, they’re not selling like hotcakes.

And then there are some who work to manage the reputation of others, and most often not to their benefit. Usually this is also a twisted form of reputation management too, as passing on juicy news about the neighbor’s indiscretion lets everyone know that you are on the inside and in the know.

But Matthew chapter 1 tells about a “reputation manager” who wasn’t working for himself, and yet he also wasn’t working against others. Instead, he was managing someone else’s reputation…for their good. And for this, Scripture calls Joseph…just.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
Matthew 1:18, 19 (ESV)

No doubt in the midst of great personal pain, Joseph was thinking of Mary. At the same time he was understandably assuming that she had been unfaithful to God and to him, he was still wanting the best for her, and this meant looking out for her honor. Amazing.

Years later, Joseph’s “adopted” Son would highlight the importance of his father’s just and righteous behavior in the second greatest commandment.
To paraphrase:

“Love your neighbor’s reputation, even as you love your own.”

P.S. Happy New Year, and greetings to all you “Inspired” readers! And for those who don’t know, at Edgewood Community Church, we’re reading the New Testament together in a program called “Inspired”. We’ll read a chapter each weekday in 2015 (260 chapters in the New Testament, 261 weekdays in 2015 – it’s almost perfect, but to make it so, we’ll take Labor Day off), and I’ll be posting a devotional from my reading here each day.
I hope you’ll come back as much as you can and also, post a comment from your own reading, and finally, if you’re so moved, share the blog and reading program with a friend!

Tomorrow: January 2, Matthew 2


Posted by on January 1, 2015 in Uncategorized


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12 responses to “Reputation Management

  1. Linda

    January 1, 2015 at 9:55 am

    I’m looking forward to reading the NT through this year and following your thoughts each day on the chapter.


  2. rogerknowlton

    January 1, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Great to read along with you, Linda!


  3. JoAnn Karls

    January 1, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Hard to be a Joseph in this world. Looking forward to reading your blog/insights. Wish you were starting in Romans, I’m in a Bible study on that. Can always use a “cheat sheet” so to speak LOL. Blessings to you and your family this 2015.


    • rogerknowlton

      January 2, 2015 at 1:48 pm

      Well, hang on JoAnn. After Matthew we will read Acts and then Romans before we get to Mark, so it’s not too far away before we get a “cheat sheet” for you!
      Happy New Year to you and yours as well!


  4. Celeste

    January 1, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    I have started the journey, Question Pastor? My question is, it states Joseph was pledged to Marry Mary, Do we know anymore how this actual marriage took place? or is the pledge all that we need to know.


    • rogerknowlton

      January 2, 2015 at 1:45 pm

      Hey Celeste,
      We don’t know any more than Luke and Matthew tell us, and they are pretty sparse in their details. Of course, there are extrabiblical sources which tell us things like what weddings were like in that day, and how old brides typically were, etc.


  5. Wenda Lehman

    January 1, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Read Matthew Henry’s commentary along with the chapter and appreciated the immense amount of grace shown by God – 4 women (actually 5 with Mary) included – who were Canaanite, Gentile, Moabite – who practiced prostitution, idolatry, and adultery – salvation for all type sinners in the genealogy. Especially loved this insight into Mary: Never was any daughter of Eve so dignified as the Virgin Mary was, and yet in danger of falling under the imputation of one of the worse crimes; yet we do not find that she tormented herself about it; but, being conscious of her own innocence, she kept her mind calm and easy, and committed her cause to him that judgeth righteously.

    Much to ponder and appreciate in the glorious WORD OF GOD! and going to work on committing my cause to HIM that judges righteously.


    • rogerknowlton

      January 2, 2015 at 1:42 pm

      Thanks for the insight, Wenda. Yes, the ladies of the genealogy are an interesting representation of the rest of us sinners, huh? Praise the Lord!


  6. Jessica Kuhl

    January 1, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Today I learned that only a desendent of David could be king of the Jews. 🙂


    • rogerknowlton

      January 2, 2015 at 1:46 pm

      Cool, Jessica. Lots to learn in God’s word. Glad you’re reading and learning!
      Pastor Roger


  7. rogerknowlton

    January 1, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    Thanks for the thoughts, everyone! Looking forward to reading the Word with you all this year!


  8. Abraham A. Woto

    October 16, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Very Inspiring thoughts on reputation Management. God richly bless you for sharing this, I am really bless by this.

    Liked by 1 person


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