The world has a distorted view of values. Those things of true worth and real value are often insignificant in our lives while we place great em-phasis upon those things, which are empty and meaningless. Esau was lacking in an intelligent sense of values. It was all right to pay for a meal, but when he traded his birthright for a bowl of pottage, he paid too much. Many people today are paying too much for the treasures and pleasures of this world.
Jesus teaches that man’s most precious possession is his soul. One soul is worth more than the world (Mt. 16:26). Perhaps man’s second most prized possession is a good name. God tells us, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches…” (Prov. 22:1) A good name is to be treasured more highly than silver and gold.
Question: How can one keep a good name? Answer: One can keep a good name by keeping a good character. Someone has said that character is what a man is; reputation is what people think he is. They are usually the same. As Lincoln is reported to have said, “You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time; but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”
One can serve as a Christian only to the extent that he keeps a good name. To His disciples Jesus said, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men” (Mt. 5:13).
A good name and the name, Christian, should be synonymous.
Once an eagle’s wing is broken, it can never fly so high again. Likewise, a good name, once lost, can never be fully restored. One’s ability to do good is crippled for life, for he no longer has the confi-dence of his fellow man.
Because a good name is so valuable, every person should:
Strive at all times to maintain an irreproachable character; Never be party to staining another’s name.
As Shakespeare said: “Who steals my purse steals trash…But he that filches from me my good name Robs me of that which not en-riches him: And makes me poor indeed”