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I sincerely hope you had a good day today. So today's topic is about a good name. Have you ever thought about your name? What does it mean? I think about many of the Bible characters and how they were named after someone, or some thing. For an example, Peter was called the Rock. That is a cool and honoring name. After studying him I think we can surely see that in him. Have you ever thought about how others see you? Not just at home or in the work place, but even at Church? What do you think people are thinking when they say your name? For me personally, every time I hear a persons name or think about a person I automatically think about this persons character a certain way. Don't we all do that, if were honest? I know I should not judge a person just because of certain behaviors. I know I should not think that this person is the last person on earth I would trust with anything confidential. I know this person never does what he says he going to do. I know this person takes advantage of me all the time. I know this person is this and that. Those are some of the negatives obviously, but what about the positives? Do you know those men you can call on to do something and know it will get done? Do you know a person that makes sacrifices by giving to the community and to his church regularly? Do you know that person that goes up to church and serves when nobody is watching all for the glory of God? Do you know that person when you see him that you can just see his love for the Lord? Well, I believe we see these kind of men in our lives daily. So how do we deal with those negative men in our lives, those, that really to be honest, you don not want to be around. You are nice because Jesus says "to Love our neighbor as our self", but really you just hope the conversation or dealings end as quickly as possible, right???
How can you be a good influence on someone you really don't like? For me its very difficult at times. However, what I have seen is if I make an effort to get to know this person, then sooner than later you will see their good qualities. I mean really, don't we all have some issues if were honest? Before you judge others for their weird, rude, or nasty habits, you just might want to think about your own. Just maybe someone is thinking this about you. Wasn't Christ the perfect example of not judging others with humility? You notice I said humility, right? Story after story Jesus showed us he spent time with the prostitute, adulterous woman, tax collector, the sick, and many more men and woman that many people despised. He did not care for the Pharisees because of their self-righteous attitudes and lack of humility.
What does the bible teach us about having a good name? Proverbs 22:1-2 says, "A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. The rich and the poor meet together, the Lord is the maker of them all."
And Proverbs 10:7 says, "The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot."
These are both two great reminders how important a good name really can be. Your character will live with you even after your dead. I think of Don Ivey, our beloved Deacon here at the church. Can any body really think of one bad thing about this person? I cannot, and I have known him for some 25 years. Can anybody think of one bad thing about me? Don't answer that...:) sure you can, and I know it. You know why I know it, because I probably think the same thing. Think about it for a second. If we know what people think about us negatively, and we know that it is not the character we want to betray, why do we not just change it?
I believe with all my heart we all want to change to be more like Christ. If you don't, then you are no better than the Pharisees that Jesus could not stand. He dislikes that kind of behavior because its so opposite of who he was. I pray that we can all ask the question "what do people think of me, what do I think of myself, and how can I look more like Christ"? These are tough questions, and I hope you will begin to pray today about a new you.
Have a great day!