The most fundamental thing in your life is your character. It is that part of you which is immortal, which will outlive any material fortune you may accumulate.
Character is a different thing from reputation. Your reputation is what people think and say about you. Your character is what you really are. People may assail your reputation and they may destroy it, but if your character is sound, it is beyond the reach of any vandal tongue.
Always our first concern should be to build a character that is pure, a character that is good. One which will be out of the reach of attack by men or by the Devil. At the same time we should not be indifferent to our reputation.
Columnist John R. Gunn writes, "I would rather have a good name than a good bank account, for if I should lose my good name it would greatly cripple my influence and usefulness. The good I may be able to do people depends to a great extent upon my standing in their sight."
Now you may have a character above reproach, yet lose your reputation and while a lost reputation may be regained, it is very difficult to do so. Therefore, one should never needlessly expose it to attack by the vicious tongues of gossip. In spite of all we can do, people will sometimes say false things about us, but we should give them as little excuse as possible for doing so.