First Base Proverbs 22:1 “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.” (ESV)
Second Base Name: A label that identifies the individual and many times denotes aspects of character or reputation. (Source: Dictionary of Bible Themes)
Third Base Many professional ball player’s reputations have crashed and burned as a result of indiscretions which have tarnished their name, their reputation, and their legacy for eternity. There are way too many players who are now thought of more for what they did off the field, rather than the numbers they put up on the diamond.
Home Plate King Ahaz reigned 16 years. “And he [Ahaz] did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” (2 Chron 28:1). His son Hezekiah did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and reigned 29 years. Manasseh, son of Hezekiah did evil in the sight of the Lord. While Manasseh started his reign doing evil in the sight of the Lord, he ended his 55 year reign by repenting before the Lord and turned back to Yahweh. Yet the children of Israel refused to return to the Lord. Manasseh’s earlier reputation preceded him. Had he followed in the footsteps of his father Hezekiah, it could have been an entirely different ending. Dr. Alex Lickerman, M.D. points out “building a good reputation requires effort, patience, and time. Destroying a good reputation only requires a single moment’s misstep.” So what’s the secret to a good reputation? Model your behavior after the example of Christ. Jesus said that we are to “do what He did” (John 14:12), “Walk as He walked” (1 John 2:6), think as He thought (Phil 2:5), serve as He served and love as He loved. Paul understood this and said…”imitate me as I imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). One slip in character and you will have a lot of ground to cover to recover what you lost. Pastor Lev Humphries, Faith Independent Baptist Church says this: “Reputation sums up who we really are whether or not we want it. We cannot buy reputation; we cannot deny it; we cannot inherit it; and we cannot change it without changing ourselves.” When our name comes up in conversation people instantly remember the behavior we previously exhibited or the way we conducted ourselves in their presence.
The Final Out Father your word outlines the value of a good name. If I say I don’t care what people think, remind me I am your disciple and therefore I must be on guard because it really isn’t my name and reputation which is to be protected. I must remember I am a child of the King and I need to conduct my affairs in such a manner to bring honor and glory to your name. So before riches of gold and silver may I always choose to humble myself as a servant, just as you did before your heavenly father. Amen