Bryan just called to tell me he finally graduated from Washington State University (after 5 ½ years) and he wants to send us a copy of his Business degree diploma because he knows we will throw it out. Just like over 8 years ago we threw out his reputation for being a kid who resented learning in school. Bryan grew up in a harsh environment, adding to his reputation a angry shyness. And, we all bucked his reputation.
Sadly, reputations have a reputation for making or breaking a person and it is intriguing when reputations are broken and people live up to a higher sense of purpose.
Reputations are only estimations, suppositions, or ascribed characteristics. Reputations appear solid, but are often flimsy and fool human beings. This is not an excuse to neglect our reputation, but resolving to improve reputations proves they don’t determine our situations.
We’ve all heard about the person with a good outward reputation but is so suspicious and cocky inside that we don’t mind not getting to know them better. And, we’ve all known the person with a reputation for being a loser, but events prove they are sincere, empathic, and legitimately impacting our world with grace and improvement.
We are all proud of Bryan. It wasn’t easy to get through what he got through to earn that diploma. And, although I wanted to at times, I’m glad I didn’t give into his old reputation. Heck, I will try not to give into his new reputation and just love him as God made him. Bryan is like a member of the family who rings true to God’s promise of love and joy fulfilled.