In my past I have done things that kinda gave me a bad reputation. But I have changed. I believe God has forgiven me. How to I make others change their thoughts about me?
Have you ever bitten into something that has assaulted your taste buds? It tasted awful and disgusting. How do you make that taste in your mouth change? Usually you reach for something neutral, like water, a biscuit or bread, to quiet the taste. Your reputation has left an impression on others. You were known by what you said, did and the company you kept.
Do you know the story of Saul who became known as Paul? He, too, faced an interesting time after God changed his life. You can read the story in Acts 9. God got Saul’s attention then He left him alone, “For three days Saul could not see and did not eat or drink” (Acts 9: 9). I am sure that as a result Paul earnestly prayed and sought out God. He truly wanted to change his reputation from a Christian-hater to a Christ-believer. God then sent him other believers. First Ananias, then Barnabas. They believed Paul had changed.
Just like Paul, keep close to God in prayer and Bible study. Find Christian friends who will support and encourage you. Choose not to hang out with people who can influence you or your reputation negatively. You will struggle with people who don’t initially believe you have changed (Paul’s life was even threatened (Acts 9:23). It will take time. And, like Paul, confess your wrongs to others.
A changed and repentant heart is precious to God. And the result may be another heart on fire for God.
As you are at peace with being God’s child, the witness you give, the choices you make, the people you hang around will soon convince others that you have changed. “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NIV)