In Ecclesiastes 7:1, Solomon said that a good name was “better than precious ointment (something that indicated wealth in those days).” Proverbs 22:1 says that a good name is better than great riches. Great riches can provide a life of ease and comfort but if we have to sacrifice our good name to get it, we pay too great a price for so little return.
A good name means that a person has a good reputation (they are known for doing the right thing). We must work hard to make sure that we have a good name and protect it from being a bad name.
Paul told Timothy that, although he was young, he must be a good example to other believers, 1 Timothy 4:12. Your parents, teachers, members of the church, and other good men and women will not look down on you when you live like Jesus did. When you do this you bring honor to Jesus’ name.
You honor Jesus by telling the truth, even if it will get you into trouble. You honor Jesus by loving others and trying to help them. If we lie, steal, or are mean to others, we do not bring honor to Jesus; we bring shame to His name.
We must always remember how quickly a good name can become a bad name. Wealthy people buy security systems, safes, and hire guards to protect their silver and gold; your reputation is more valuable than silver and gold; therefore, be careful to protect it from damage.
Remember how Solomon said that a good name was like precious ointment? He also said, in Ecclesiastes 10:1 that a bad name is like bad smelling perfume filled with flies.
When we have a good reputation it brings honor to us, our parents, and Jesus. When people know us for doing bad things it does not honor Christ, brings shame to our parents, and causes us to feel bad about ourselves.
If you feel that your name is considered good, keep up the good work and do not do things that would give you a bad name.
If you feel that your name is not known for good things, change now and do good things so that people will see the change in your life. Over time you might be able to rebuild a good name—do not give up.
Always remember that it takes a lifetime to build a good reputation yet only a few minutes to destroy it.