We had a visitor at our morning workout group this morning. Kristen introduced me to her niece, Liberty, and we smiled at each other. Then Abbie, sprawled out comfortably on the floor, pointed back over her shoulder at me and started to say, "She's the one - " and my mind jumped in that split second to all sorts of things she could say to finish that phrase...
"She's the one I was telling you about. She's our pastor's wife and she's a beautiful singer."
"She's the one who is such a great, godly example for me."
"She's the one who does such awesome children's messages."
"She's the one who leads such fascinating Bible studies."
"She's the one who writes that great blog I was telling you about."
Do you think she said any of those things? No. No, she didn't.
Instead, in that split second, she finished it this way: "She's the one with the circus peanuts."
I laughed, but I also cringed. You see, yesterday I had shown up at workout with an empty circus peanuts bag and had admitted that I had bought it the day before and eaten most of it all by myself. Kristen was excited because she didn't think that anyone else even liked circus peanuts. She loved them because they reminded her of playing checkers with her grandpa. He would give them to her while they played.
So now here we were a day later and Kristen had eaten circus peanuts the night before! They had stopped at a convenience store and she had picked some up and let her kids try them (and she ate the rest, I'm sure.) Of course, she blamed it on me. And that's the first impression Liberty had of me. "The one with the circus peanuts."
It made me stop and think. How do I want to be known? I need to be acting in ways that show that to people. "She's the one that's nice." "She's the one that loves everybody." "She's the one that tries to follow God every single day." "She's the one that is patient when things get chaotic."
I don't want to be known as "the one who can't control herself when she gets a bag of candy corn, a box of marshmallow peeps, or a bag of circus peanuts." I'd better start working on it if I'm going to turn that reputation around.
"A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold."(Proverbs 22:1 NIV)
How are you known? How can focusing on God help you to be known for important things like your character and personality instead of just what you like?