You already have an identifying characteristic. You are known for something, an attitude or behavior that is consistent. It says who you are. It’s you!
Ask 5 of your friends or family members that know you well to describe your most prominent characteristic. (This takes courage—try it!) Ask them to be honest. “When you think of me, what’s the strongest message that comes from my person?”
This all became so clear for me when I was reading recently the last words of King David. First, the Bible says David was the man “exalted by the Most High God.” Then it says “the man anointed by God.” These first two describe God’s work in David. But the third line spoke to me so strongly. It defines what David was known for. He was the most famous for being “Israel’s singer of songs.”
Now that is interesting. So much of David’s life is about warfare and conflict and death. Surely he must be known for killing Goliath. How about leading Saul’s armies as a young man? That’s an achievement for a boy! And what about David’s victory over the Amalekites? David taking the “City of David,” which incidentally was quite a feat, yet mentioned as a footnote. David’s kindness to Jonathan’s son. David bringing back the Ark of God to Jerusalem. How about his humility, when confronted by Nathan for his sin? He humbled himself and turned to God.
My point is this: there was much in David’s life to make him a national hero. But none of those things became his identifying characteristic.
He was “Israel’s singer of songs.” He must have done this often, in every place, in all circumstances, whether on the run or seated in a palace. His life’s essence was this: “Israel’s singer of songs.”
If you’ve done the exercise I suggested above and have obtained honest answers, you may be pleased with what you are known for. Then again you may be disappointed or even grieved.
If you don’t like what people say about you or you don’t like what you hear about yourself, you can change your reputation by changing your actions. Changing your actions will not only affect your reputation but could literally alter the course of your life. Think about that!
What do you want to be known for? It is always an action. If you want to be known for something, it will have to become your dominant action in life. It will have to be your “go-to” in all of life’s situations. Singing worship was David’s “go-to.” What’s yours?
After you’ve asked your friends or family members what characteristic best describes you, is it something you wish to be known for? What do you need to change?
Acts 13:22, After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’
Reading Plan: Deuteronomy 29 – Joshua 1
Heavenly Father, help me to be known as someone who leads people to you? If there’s anything I don’t like about myself, I choose to change my actions. I pray that you will also change me as I walk in obedience to you.
Change your actions! Making a change now will do good for your reputation and will make you an effective witness for Christ.