As I stood up to go after her, I noticed my missing sock. I had some how managed to sit on it, and I had it all the time! "You blamed Annie, and she didn't even do it," my daughter and Annie's #1 fan exclaimed. She was right. But it offered a chance for a teaching moment.
When you are characterized by a certain behavior, whether good or bad, people will assume it from you. When people know you for having good character, they don't believe otherwise. However, once you become known for a bad behavior (sock stealing, for instance), when socks turn up missing you get the blame, even if you didn't do it! You only get one chance to build your character, and once it's built badly even when you "re-build" it, it takes a long time for folks to see the new you.
This isn't a "life sentence" for those who have started out on the wrong
Let your good behavior shine so that people can see God through you. Then people will no longer consider you a sock stealer, and when it comes to good character, you'll be a
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16