Safeguarding a Good Name
TO STUDY a beautiful painting carefully can be a rewarding experience. Looking closely, one will note how an artist used hundreds of brushstrokes to apply various pigments on a canvas.
Similarly, a good name is developed, not by one broad stroke of a brush, so to speak, but by many small acts over a period of time. Yes, little by little our reputation is built up through the deeds that we perform.
On the other hand, one misplaced brushstroke can depreciate a painting’s value. So it is with our name. Wise King Solomon said: “It is the foolishness of an earthling man that distorts his way.” (Proverbs 19:3) All it takes is a little so-called foolishness—perhaps a violent outburst of anger, an immoderate indulgence in alcoholic beverages, or one sexually unchaste act—to sully a fine reputation. (Proverbs 6:32; 14:17; 20:1) How vital, therefore, that we strive to acquire a good name and work zealously to safeguard it.—Compare Revelation 3:5.