Donna Schaper wrote an article called, Stripping Down. In it, she shows how to get down to the essential level of greatness.
The first thing people do when restoring old chairs is strip—strip right down to the bare wood... They strip away all the years of grime, the garish coats of paint piled one on top of the other. They get rid of all the junk that's been tacked on through the years and try to find the solid, simple thing that's underneath. I'm like an old chair needing that stripping process. Every now and then I have to take a really hard look at the illusions I’ve built up in myself.
She's right. Character is solid wood in the old chair. Reputation may be just a veneer with no depth. Remember old suffering Job? God stripped him all the way down to his bare soul and made him a rare work of art—a prized chair indeed! Even righteous Job had some crud that needed to come off—how much more do we!
Remember, when God strips you down, it's because He wants to uncover the essential qualities of your character originating from His Word. How much of the Sermon of the Mount is there? How much of the wisdom of Proverbs is there? How much of the promises of God are there? If none are there, He can add them. If they are there, He will polish them. The process may be painful, but rest assured, you'll thank Him later!