You may have heard the phrase, “Your reputation precedes you”. This is called the primacy effect. It means you summarize to others your belief about a person in five words or less, and that description sticks, even if it’s not entirely accurate. For example, before we are introduced to a person by a mutual friend, we're told this person is “religious”. When we eventually meet that person, we might beleive we have to watch our language, or we are in the presence of a “fire and brimstone holy-roller”. The primacy effect is difficult to overcome once it is in place, but it is possible when we take ownership of our reputation (1 Peter 2:12). While we should never compromise our principles, we should be aware of how others may see us and determine if our reputation honors God.
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