So what exactly IS in a name? In particularly, a GOOD name.
We often hear of people lauding that it is necessary to protect one’s name, especially in the church and in ministry. I have heard many a preacher preach and teach Proverbs 22:1 and Ecclesiastes 7:1 totally out of context…
A GOOD name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
A GOOD name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.
In both passages of scriptures, it speaks to having a good name (or reputation) in light of one’s record of their entire life, not just a few, good things accomplished in seasons of one’s life.
The Hebrew word for name used in both instances is ‘shem,’ meaning ‘name, reputation, fame.’ It can also mean ‘prosperity.’
Shem was also one of Noah’s son.
The erroneous teaching that has gone forth for years is that one is to protect their name, their reputation, what they are known for, at all costs. In particularly, in ministry.
I have seen preachers literally attempt to kill…all to protect their name, to keep up the image of being a man of woman of God before the people.
I have heard of preachers buying off people to protect their name/reputation.
I have heard of preachers and church folks do all kinds of dastardly, wicked, sneaky, under-the-table tricks…all under the guise of protecting their name. For making sure that their reputation is kept in tact.
I see it as an image type of thing going on.
And keeping up an image of prosperity, of success, of godliness, of holiness, of power, or whatever…at all costs…even sinning to keep up the good name, is synonymous (or just like) marketing.
Anyone who has ever worked in marketing knows, image is everything!
If your image or reputation is tarnished, then you are ruined!
So now we have preachers and church folks who hire marketers to market themselves, their ministries, their products/services, their churches, their fellowships, etc.
It is no accident that the most famous preacher in the U.S. (maybe even the world), is a megapreacher who is considered to be a brilliant marketer of his businesses.
And many preachers emulate and try to be just like him.
But I ask…WHAT’S IN A NAME?????
We have been lied to and told our name is all we got, its everything. So we must protect it at all costs.
I say NOOO!!!!
It is NOT up to us to create (or maintain) a good name.
God promises if we do what is right IN HIS EYES, that HE will MAKE OUR NAMES GREAT.
Now the problem with this is that most people want fame, notoriety, a fantabulous reputation and what has been sold off as prosperity…IN THIS LIFE.
I want you to look at a biblical example of God making somebody’s name GREAT…yet it did not happen until after he left here!
Abraham is often called the father of many nations. God had great plans for Abraham. He had a covenant with Abraham.
God promised Abraham to make his name great, yet Abraham had some things going on with him….I want you to notice some things about Abraham.
Abraham didnt have a marketing team to control and manipulate his image. Abraham didn’t have consultants that advised him to do A or B. Abraham didn’t have to buy off anyone, neither did he have to sin to perform the will of God.
Abraham didn’t have a squeaky clean record. Yet God still kept the promises that He did to him.
Abraham lied to not one but TWO kings (Pharaoh and Abimelech) about the identity of Sara, his wife. He told them she was his sister instead of his wife. (Genesis 12 and 20)
Abraham had mad family strife. In Genesis 13, Abraham and Lot had to part ways because they just couldn’t see eye to eye on things. It got so bad that Abraham had to take one section of land and settle there and Lot had to take the exact opposite section of land…they HAD to separate in order to keep the peace. (Genesis 13)
Abraham had MANY concubines (Papa was a rolling stone!) And MANY children by these concubines. Hagar and Ishmael are the most popular ones we know about because they were the first. But the Word states that Abraham had MANY concubines and subsequent children in Genesis 25 (he was a deadbeat dad!) And he sent them ALL off-just like he did Hagar and Ishmael-when he was ‘done’ with them!
Abraham committed adultery…over and over and over again. With Hagar (Genesis 16 & 21) and many concubines.
Abraham had incest in the family. Lot’s daughters slept with Lot and both were impregnated by their own father. (Genesis 19)
As we can see, Abraham had a really BAD reputation. Yet God promised him to make his name GREAT!
How can that be? Aren’t we supposed make our own name good, since the Word says a good name is preferred over many riches?
Why would God promise an adulterer, a deadbeat dad, a whoremonger, a liar, I would say a borderline sex addict (he had to be to have that many concubines!)…why would God make ANY promises to him? Let alone, the promise to become the father of many nations and to make his name great??????
I thought WE had control over our reputations? I thought our marketing teams, our clever marketing and image consultants, our assortment of makeover experts, our keen and saavy know-how of how to successfully project a (religious and spiritual) image to a group of people and influence them to do whatever you desire was what made our name great???? And saved souls???
Can you see how prideful and presumptious that sounds??????
The awesome thing is that in spite of Abraham’s lapses in character, in spite of his family issues, in spite of his lack of faith and fear, God STILL made his name GREAT!
It is NOT up to US to make our names GREAT. It is totally up to GOD!
When we do what God has told us to do, then GOD will do the rest.
STOP trying to work something up to protect your ‘image.’
When you look in the mirror, you shouldn’t see YOU anymore anyways.
You should see CHRIST IN YOU, the HOPE of GLORY!
When people see you, they should see CHRIST JESUS!!!!
What’s in a name??????
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
The ONLY name worth ANYTHING in this life or the next-for ALL ETERNITY- is the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth!!!!!
There is no need for ‘reputation management’ when it comes to Jesus Christ!
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men…
Even though Jesus Christ of Nazareth was God in the flesh, and was therefore equal to God (according to vs. 6), He humbled Himself and MADE HIMSELF OF NO REPUTATION!
He could have gotten the best rep EVER! But instead, He chose to become nothing…to become a servant. And gave His life as a ransom for many.
So where is this coming from, this trend towards have a marketing team, image consultants and the such within the so-called church????
We are to be in the image of God, not man.
Whenever we try to form an image outside of God, we are dabbling into pride, vanity and idolatry. ALL of which is against GOD.
Let’s stop falling into the hands of the enemy by falling for the trap of trying to make a name for ourselves.
In the end times that we currently live in, there are many false christs that are risen up, and many of them have marketing teams, image consultants, makeup and makeover specialists, hairstylists, etc. on their ‘staff.’
Who in the WORLD do they think they are?????
Did you die on the cross for humanity?
Were you tortured, humiliated and persecuted before throngs of men who were supposed to worship you?
Are you sinless, guiltless and without reproach?
If not, then fire your ‘staff.’
LET GOD MAKE UR NAME GREAT!
Letting God make your name great may mean you don’t see the actual greatness of your name in your own lifetime, as Abraham did not live to see how his name would be made great.
But if you trust God and love God MORE than your image, MORE than you ambitious nature to want to ‘make it’ in THIS life, MORE than you trying to impress your ministerial fellowship, comrades and associates, MORE than trying to make the Joneses believe you got it going on, MORE THAN ANYTHING, then GOD CAN AND WILL MAKE YOUR NAME GREAT!!!!! FOR ETERNITY…where it matters!