It's hard to change who you are, and even harder to leave who you've been behind. The ugly face of ones past attitudes and actions tends to pop up unexpectedly to drag one back down with it. Or, not so unexpectedly, as people are like elephants, and tend to remember things longer than we'd like.
Family, as much as we love them, are the best at this. They've seen you at your worst, and know your full potential for evil. A bad reputation is the fastest thing one can earn, and along the way they must hurt or disappoint a lot of people. (In my case, mostly family members). Trust, on the other hand is the hardest thing I know of to build. It takes a lifetime and patience isn't my strong suit.
Maybe I'm not grieving over my sin enough? When I'm convicted, I take my shame to Jesus and He buries it. He casts it as far as the east is from the west! And then we get in the van to go to church, and somehow my little sister finds it and brings it up. Accusations fly, things heat up, defenses and walls are built and before you know it, I have more shame to carry to the cross. It's vicious. My siblings must be world travelers to find these things that Jesus has taken so far away!
Am I damaging my relationships with my siblings by believing that I'm free from my sin? Does it hurt them more? I could walk around with my head hung low in shame all day, but wouldn't that be a dis on God's forgiveness and cleansing power?
It's by grace I've been saved, not of myself. Not of works. If I walk around with my head held in shame, what does that say about God? I've been created for the praise of the glory of His grace. (Eph 1:6) The only way I can see of praising His grace is to believe it, and act in kind.
I don't know. Well, I do know, but I don' t know what to do, or how to heal the breach between me and (fill-in-the-blank). I love them and want to be loved and trusted by them, but my relationship with Jesus comes first and foremost.
"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold." - Proverbs 22:1
I just wish I had realized the value of a good reputation before I built my bad one.