" A good reputation is better than a fat bank account. Your death date tells more than your birth date."
"Endings are better than beginnings. Sticking to it is better than standing out." Eccl. 7:1,8 (MSG)
A good reputaion is rare is our society. Any one who's anyone, politicians, stars, atheletes, even ministers, are under constant scrutiny with scoop hunters digging into their pasts. Their seems to be no end of bones in their closets. Honesty up front could cost much heartache later on. So many of us who have destroyed our names with drug and drink, in fact anyone who have a bad past can restore their reputation. The key element in re-constructing your name and the way people see you is to focus on doing so, and starting with how you see you. Start seeing yourself as one who can, and will.
Most importantly, those loved ones that still hurt from our debaucherous living shouldn't be placed on a time schedule of accepting your new way of life. Just work hard to help another person every day.
Here's a few suggestions to the re-making of the new you. 1) Be determined, see what your old life got you, the determination to party and live it up on a regular basis, and pursue doing good just as hard. 2) Don't let opportunities pass you by. That will happen if you're not watching diligently. Helping a neighbor with their groceries, raking their leaves, etc., are not things we think to do, but these can be a major help to the elderly or shut-ins. 3) No empty promises are allowed. If you say to a friend, sure I'll help you move... then help them move! Schedule it, write it down. And if you tell someone, "I'll pray for you," then do so. Too often we say that and walk away, forgetting you even had the conversation. 4) To tell your loved ones that you have changed and things will be different from now on, is like telling everyone that fish don't swim. don't forget you've said that, 10,845 times. Show them you've changed, don't say it. 5) Fill your mind with good thoughts each day. Read a chapter of Proverbs, Psalms, or Philippians. Or read a inspiring bio of a noted person that went from nothing to something. You'll find your stories to be similar, or maybe your personalities are alike. Become a walking dictionary picture of enthusiasm!
Of course there's always more you can do. But start here, begin somewhere. Stick to it. Be fixed on ending well. Remember that you are as you see yourself, as you say you are. Include God above everything else in re-building your reputation. He will direct you in your drive to end your time on earth striving to please Him and serve any and all you can. Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all, Keith.