I was thinking about asking my church about borrowing a bunch of chairs for an event I’m helping out with. It’s not really an event they would necessarily have any interest in. In fact it’s a book launch party for a friend of a friend and the event theme focuses around fantasy books and “conjuring” things.
I finally decided to ask them and by the time they responded that, yes, they would love to help, we had found another solution. But the fact that I was resistant to ask got me thinking. It wasn’t the sort of good cause they usually help with and I wanted to protect their brand from being associated with things that might look less Christian.
And I think about my blog. When people ask if they can guest post, I usually say no because I’m very conscious about what appears on my blog and how it reflects me.
And through all of this I realized how important reputation is to me and many of us. How much I think each person and each organization cares about it’s reputation. What associations it keeps. What sorts of causes and political statements people know they align with. And how dangerous it is to each rep to be seen as associating with things that their followers don’t agree with. That stuff goes viral on Twitter.
A unified brand is fine in a lot of ways. There’s beauty in focus, and the defined personality of an entity, and we can’t just be everything and represent everything.
But, when I thought about it I realized that Jesus totally wrecked his rep. He didn’t seem worried in the least. He hung out with the people that would make the churchy influencers “unfollow” him. He said hard stuff that trimmed his “congregation” down to the struggling bones. He hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors that made the church leaders (all the important people) feel repelled. Who would those people be in these time? KKKers? Muslim extremists? Transexual lobbyists?
The leaders in Jesus’s day didn’t want to touch him with a ten foot pole (unless it was to stick it in his side).
His rep seemed to almost always be in question. And I started wondering if maybe that’s a good indicator of if we are doing what Jesus would do or not. Maybe? Is my rep always a little questionable by the people looking on? If it isn’t, is it a reflection that I’m scared to be seen with certain people (the ones Jesus seemed really passionate to help), or to say really unpopular truths?
Yep, there are a few things that I don’t say on my blog or on Facebook because I think I’ll lose readers. And there are some people I hesitate to hang out with. Ouch. I’m at fault here. Maybe in the next few weeks you’ll see me jeopardizing my rep by trying to stretch in this direction in little ways.
The Gay pride parade was last weekend. And I thought about going, just to say, hey guys, I love you. I understand this world has been real mean to ya at times. I don’t know where I stand on the issue but I want to communicate love to people who have been looked down upon and who looked dirty to a lot of people, especially religious people. I want to love on those types of people like Jesus did.
But maybe I was just a little too protective of my rep.
Raw Spoon, 10-9-16