What Kind of Name Do You Have?
IN THE Bible, the word “name” sometimes refers to one’s reputation. For example, wise King Solomon wrote: “A name is better than good oil, and the day of death than the day of one’s being born.” (Ecclesiastes 7:1; compare Proverbs 22:1.) According to Solomon’s words, a person is not born with a good name. Rather, it is during the course of his life that he gains a reputation with real meaning. His name identifies him as to his personal qualities, whether he is generous or selfish, compassionate or cold, humble or haughty, even righteous or wicked.
Consider David. During his kingship, he proved himself strong and unwavering. At the same time, David humbly acknowledged his mistakes and repented of his gross sins. With good reason, Jehovah’s prophet indicated that David was “a man agreeable to [God’s] heart.” (1 Samuel 13:14) Young David already had a good name with God.
In contrast, Judean King Jehoram made a bad name for himself. He turned his subjects away from the worship of Jehovah and even had his six brothers and some of the princes of Judah put to death. Eventually, Jehovah afflicted Jehoram with a painful illness that led to his death. The Bible says that Jehoram “went away without being desired,” or as Today’s English Version puts it, “nobody was sorry when he died.”—2 Chronicles 21:20.
The life course of David and Jehoram illustrates the truthfulness of the Bible proverb: “The remembrance of the righteous one is due for a blessing, but the very name of the wicked ones will rot.” (Proverbs 10:7) Each of us should therefore soberly consider the question, ‘What kind of name am I making with God and with my fellowman?’