Burning at the Stake
“Names are the sweetest and most important sound in any language” (Dale Carnegie). It’s even been said that a good name is more valuable than riches (Proverbs 22:1). It’s no wonder it hurts so much when yours is wrongly smeared or destroyed.
What do you do when your name is burning at the stake? Do you speak a defense? (Is there really a need to with those who truly know your heart)? Even if you can respond, can it be done without setting fire to another? That thought might appeal to a hunger for revenge, but that’s God’s business.
If you’ve ever been in this situation, you know the frustration and helplessness of that place. Can I offer you some encouragement? There is something you can do when your good name appears to be turning to ashes with others. It’s not easy though.
Put the extinguisher down. You don’t need to be a frantic firefighter. Give your unspoken responses to the Defender. You don’t need to appear in court “pro se.” Take captive what is true and think on those things. Take one step forward at a time trusting your reputation with the One who is in control. There's one more thing... pray for those that hold the match as you would hope someone would pray for you (Matthew 5:44).
*Side note* Even in the case of you messing up and setting fire to your reputation, there is redemption and restoration through Christ. Who you were or what you did is not the conclusion of the story. A repentant heart is never beyond His love, forgiveness, and grace. You are a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).
Rest easy. The battle isn’t yours to fight because it’s already been won. Your name is covered by Another’s – the Name above all names.
How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you. In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues. Be strong and take heart all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:19-20,24