by Lee Buford on July 6, 2010

Like it or not, most of what others think of you and me is the result of our own actions. Sure, people mistakenly develop false impressions based on hearsay, but, for the most part, those closest to us have a more accurate representation from which to base their opinions…good or bad.

I recently overheard a conversation in which someone said to another, “coulda-shoulda-woulda.” We’ve all heard that. You know the type: lots of talk, missed opportunities, and bad luck. The person’s response caught me off guard, however:


I was immediately reminded how much of our success and/or failure hinges on attitude…and how much of our reputation hinges on such self-defining moments.

When in the presence of others our words and actions are defining “who” and “what” we are:

  • Positive or Negative
  • Helpful or Hurtful
  • Strong or Weak
  • Loving or Mean
  • Good or Bad
  • Reliable or Unreliable

The list goes on and on. But the fact is, the list is there, and it’s being populated in the minds of those around you. You are self-defining yourself!

Who do you want to be? What do you want to be? Do your words and actions convey that to others?

We’ve all made mistakes. We’ve all acted in ways or said things for which we are later filled with shame, regret, and embarrassment. That’s not what matters. What matters is that we make amends for those things and move forward in a different manner.

By God’s grace we are forgiven, we are disciplined, and we are afforded another chance.

Make the most of it. Decide today how you will be defined!


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