Certain names elicit predictable reactions when we hear them. Take Hitler for example. For the vast majority of the worlds population the most common reaction is

evil-dictators

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contempt,disgust,or perhaps even hatred.

 

The same could be said for Stalin, Amin, Gaddafi,or Jong-II. Certain men,because of their ruthless behavior and evil disposition, draw very strong emotions from us simply by the mention of their names.

Then there are those who because of their kindness,generosity,or compassion elicit from us thoughts of honor,praise,or gratitude. Men and women such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln,Benazir Bhutto,or my lovely wife Debbie typically draw strong,positive reactions from us upon hearing their names.

What do people think when they hear your name?

Whether we realize it or not,having a good name,or a good report among others,is very important. It must be because the scriptures give us several examples to ponder,such as…

A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of one’s death than the day of one’s birth. Eccl 7:1   HCSB

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.  Proverbs 22:1   KJV

Even Paul,when giving Timothy the details about the qualifications of a bishop,included the requirement for having a good report,or name.

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Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.   1st Tim. 3:7.  KJV

So it is evident that we must live our lives in such a way that will reflect positively upon our Lord. Or to put it another way,as Christians there is a standard that we must strive to achieve.

We simply cannot allow this fallen worlds standards to become our own. To do so is to bring a reproach on Christ and His church,as well as to ignore the clear teachings of scripture.

One might ask then,”what can I do about the past mistakes I’ve made,surely I have fallen short of any Godly standards.How will I ever have a good name”? Of course,we all make mistakes and fall short.In Romans 3:23 Paul said “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”thereby including everyone of us in that incalculable number of people who have failed.

If perfection was a prerequisite whereby we might gain the attention or favor of the Lord,all of us would be doomed.Thankfully,God does not insist that our goodness,talents,wisdom,etc… be at some predetermined level of excellence. He simply takes us as we are,warts and all.

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The good name,or good report we are to covet is a crown worth pursuing. A good name is not given,it is won as we overcome our adversary daily.It is won on the battlefields of temptation,of the mind,and of the will. It is the end result of the sanctifying process we all go through as we work out our own salvation with fear and trembling  (Philippians 2:12).

It is therefore important that we understand that past mistakes don’t necessarily disqualify us in the eyes of God for a particular office or position.And it is for absolute certainty that God does not disqualify us from becoming His Sons and Daughters.

Nothing however,should hinder us from striving to achieve all that God has for us.Our “Good Name” depends on it. Oh,and those past mistakes we’ve all made? Think of them this way: they are meant to guide us onward,not define us!

What do people think when they hear your name?

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