Given it's St Valentine's Day, perhaps it's not surprising that there have been a lot of news items around what people think of each other, about reputation, about what we say or think we are and how others view us.
Firstly, at a national level, we have the ratings agency Moody's warning that they think the UK has a "negative outlook" with the apparent implication that they may downgrade the UK's top level credit rating.
We have Baroness Warsi wanting European Christians to be "more confident and more comfortable in [their] Christianity" with "individuals not diluting their faiths and nations not denying their religious heritages".
We have the Richard Dawkins Foundation pointing out that people who say that they are Christian in polls or censuses don't seem to be able to answer basic questions about the faith and aren't really engaged with it.
In response to that, on Radio 4, Canon Giles Fraser was arguing that it's not appropriate for others (like the Richard Dawkins Foundation) to compare what people say they are with what they do or can articulate.
Now, I'm always concerned that man has an impertinent tendency to want to set an entrance test for the kingdom that is higher than God's. However, I'm reminded of the challenging quotation (attributed to David Fuller) of: "if you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?"
In his Cambridge Paper "Style or substance: does the reputation of the church matter?", David McIlroy argues that the church and its members are not to be concerned about their reputation for their own sake or as an end in itself. But, they should seek to protect their reputation where the honour of God is at stake, provided doing so is consistent with the countercultural values of the gospel.
On Valentine's Day it's good to be reminded that we should be focused on our hearts: "People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 and Jesus's command to his followers: "Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35 (NIV)