A Good Name

“A good name is more desirable than great riches.” Proverbs 22:1 NIV

“A good name is easier to get, than to get back.”

My thoughts today are about “a good name.”

Have you ever thought much about your name? Your name was not of your choosing; hopefully, it is to your pleasing. It relates you to your family’s generations, and identifies and differentiates you from others. My name is a combination of our family name – with all the history and heritage that represents – and the others chosen by my parents for me. I have felt pride (in the most humble way, of course!) in our family name.

The origin of my first name, Allen, is not all that noteworthy. My mother told me that I was named after her nurse’s boyfriend of all things, when my parents could not decide on a name. My middle name, Ray, is in honor of my Dad, which pleases me. And of course, Randolph, our family name, connects me with the generations of Randolphs who precede me.

When I was a teen, as I went out the door my Dad’s last words usually were, “Remember, you are a Randolph.” Somehow I knew what he meant. I carried his name – a pastor’s good name, known well and respected by those who knew him – and should respect and treat it accordingly. My Dad wanted me to know that a good name is easier to get, than to get back.

A good reputation well earned is priceless yet easily damaged irreparably; a bad reputation is hard to live down and so slow to repair. Your reputation can be the product of what you do, as well as what your friends do. So live wisely, and choose to relate to friends who pull you forward and upward, not push you downward. The Bible warns, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’” 1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV. Don’t compromise your good name, even for a friend.

How do you put a price on a good name? Solomon said, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you . . then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man . .  A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver and gold.” Proverbs 3:4/22:1 NIV. Let us remember the family name we carry, and walk worthy of the One by whom we are known and by whose name we are called. Read Colossians 1:9-14 NIV. Like my Dad reminded me, the Bible reminds us, “Let everyone who names himself by the name of the Lord give up all iniquity and stand aloof from it.” 2 Timothy 2:19 Amplified.

My prayer for you today is: value what is irreplaceable, bringing honor to His name.