Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Reputation and Good Name

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. (Proverbs 22:1)

A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth. (Ecclesiastes 7:1)

It is a terrible thing for a person to have his good name stolen away by another. Those who fear God, those who trust in the Lord and abide in His goodness, those who value the forgiveness that Christ purchased with His life for all, do not do such things.

For the good of all the Lord God commands:

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. (Exodus 20:16)

A little later He expounds further, explaining in more detail the ways in which His people do not walk on account of the love that He has for all and that they have received by His gracious decree:

Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment: Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause. (Exodus 23:1-3)

The NKJV makes this a little easier to understand:

You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice. You shall not show partiality to a poor man in his dispute. (Exodus 23:1-3)

Yesterday, after concluding a meeting in my home with one of my insurance agents, he handed me a flyer that someone had stuck in my door. It was a campaign advertisement slamming one of the city council candidates. It was libelous and slanderous. It twisted facts to present them in a way to give a false witness against the man whom this group opposed.

How can a man defend himself against such deliberate misrepresentations of the truth?

How deeply did these villainous hatemongers have to dig to find this information?

Josh freely shared it in his campaign. He told it to the Wichita Eagle and it was printed for all to read. Josh also posted it on his campaign web site. Only when Josh shared it, he shared how these things from his past helped him to learn what is right and good so as to be a more responsible citizen. He openly shared information that this other group has presented out of context in order to steal from a man his good name.

Josh’s opponent has also done this in his actual campaign flyers, telling outright lies and also other misrepresentations that were intended to lead people to false and hurtful conclusions regarding Josh.

This latest attack was deliberately done the day before the election so that Josh would have no opportunity to respond. This was done in such a way as to incite anger and fury in those who would read it so that they would react with hatred and malice rather than considering that such campaigning cannot be trusted.

This is very sad. It breaks my heart, but on account of the injury done to a man who is seeking to do good for his neighbors as well as to learn and to grow as a man and husband and father and citizen.

As I ponder the mistakes that people make in their lives, as I see them acknowledge their errors and turn from them to the better way, I can only applaud them and encourage them and give thanks to God for the miracle of repentance and renewal. Moreover, as I ponder the economic perils that we all face, when I learn of a man who was made to be unemployed by the system, who on this account faced foreclosure of his home, who courageously sought remedy through renegotiating his mortgage, who fearlessly sought new employment so as to be able to resume making payments on his home, this I count as a marvelous example of good stewardship rather than reason to run the man down. I consider this to be a wonderful example of responsible leadership, not as an example of a man who cannot handle his own finances. How many people in our country have actually lost their homes due to the collapse of the economy? This man stood up and found a way to keep his home.

Now, regarding what sort of man is fit to represent me on the city council and what sort of man will understand the struggles of his fellow citizens who are being over taxed and ignored regarding useless government spending, I count the man who has faced these challenges personally and has risen above them to be the one whom I can trust.

It truly grieves me that in this campaign Josh is openly, maliciously, and wrongfully attacked. Why can the others not simply run on their own good name? Why do people cause harm to others rather than presenting their own ideas and letting the voters see what is good?

This is very sad business.

As for me, though my voice be minuscule and of very little consequence, I will speak on behalf of my wronged neighbor and do what little I can to help him maintain his good name. I hope that at least a few people will read my comments and consider that what has been said about Josh is unfair and will remember the good things that he represents. This is much bigger than an election. A man’s life is being affected by these things. The life of his family is being affected, too. In the end, all of us are affected by these things, for if this is what is done in an election campaign, what will be done to anyone who raises issues against these vicious people in the future? Whom else will be attacked? What else may be done when one actually holds an office of power? We would all do well to consider these things in every election. If someone uses such tactics to become elected, who will protect us from having such things done to us in the future when we speak out and disagree with what such a person does in the public office? Will such a person be inclined to listen? Will such a person react with civility?

Surely the Lord is right. We should not bear false witness against our neighbor, nor join with those who do such things. No good ever comes from such ways. But good surely does arise from coming to one another’s aid and defending one another and speaking well of one another whenever possible.

Is this not worthy of serious consideration?

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Anonymous said...

Hello, my name is Pastor Michael O'Donnell and I want to state that I had a very plesant conversation with the author of this blog. We had a very congenial coversation that I believe was beneficial. At the conclusion of the conversation, I believer I can state that we both agreed that Politics can be an "ugly" profession and certainly believers should "rise above" the mud. I must state that my son, Michael, whom the blog addresses as Mr. Blick's opponent is not perfect. He and I have had many discussions about how campaigning is done. I can tell you that he has tried to focus on who "He is" and not his opponent. However, he does have promoters who handle his mailings that at times seem harsh. I spoke to the blog's author expressing the mailing that I am really proud of is the one entitled: "It's time for a fresh voice". Honestly it would be considered "too wordy" to be considered a "nice political piece", but he describes "why" he is involved and what he hopes to accomplish. He wrote: "I have chosen to run for Wichita City Council not because the job is easy, and not becuase of any personal gain. I believe what the Bible says is true that we should serve others." I certainly wish that attitude would be exemplified by all involved. I can share with you many mean spirited attacks that my son has endured. It is sad! We need to pray for our leaders.

Dr. Michael O'Donnell
Sr. Pastor
Grace Baptist Church
1414 W. Pawnee
Wichita, Ks. 67213
(316) 264-6644

Not Alone +++ PAS said...

Pr. O'Donnell,

Thank you very much both for the blessed conversation that we shared and for your clarifying comment. I especially appreciate your kindly reception of my questions in our phone conversation.

God's peace to you in Christ Jesus.