“Boaz replied to her, ‘All that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me, and how you left your father and your mother and the land of your birth and came to a people that you did not previously know.” (Ruth 2:11)
Ruth never went around advertising what a good human being she was, but her works were noticed by Boaz. Indeed, Boaz will later say, “All my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.” (Ruth 3:11)
Reputation is the widespread belief of your character. Reputation is created as people watch us over time. You can’t tell people what your reputation is; they can only see it. And just like with Ruth… people are watching.
Reputation is best built when we aren’t worried about what others think—but what is right. The moment you are doing the right thing because others are watching… you aren’t doing it for the right reason. Jesus emphasized this repeatedly throughout the Sermon on the Mount. If we do good to be seen by others, we become people-pleasers, and we “receive our reward in full”.
When we do the right thing purely because it is right, our reputation grows, and, most importantly, God is glorified.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16)