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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

What's in a Name?

Today’s Verse:

Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee. ~Song of Solomon 1:3


Your name is your identity. While many people have the same name, our respective name is our brand and label. Our name is associated with our character and reputation. Our name associates us with our belief, deeds, and practices. We either have a good name or a bad name. This morning, let us see what’s in a name.

We see the prudence.

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1). This verse is speaking about a man’s reputation. Your reputation is how much you are respected and received. It is what people think of what you are. It is a wise decision to build a good name. It takes a lifetime to build a good name, but we can lose it in a moment. This same line of thought applies to a Christian’s testimony. We must uphold the name "Christian" in high regard and repute. We represent our Lord and do all that we can to reflect that we are light and salt to an unsaved world.

We see the priority.

Not only is it prudent to have a good name, but it must be our priority to choose a good name. A good name is manifested through good character. Abraham Lincoln said, “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” The first criteria for serving the Lord is being a man of good report and who is blameless. A good report is an excellent reference from those who know you. A good report must be above reproach. It must be consistent. It must be one of great value. Solomon said that it should be chosen over great riches. Our most important asset is our name. Make it your priority to be constantly building a good name.

We see the perfume.

“Thy name is as ointment poured forth.” In Solomon’s time, a thing of great value was compared to precious ointment. Precious ointment is costly to produce. There is nothing cheap about a good name. Precious ointment is aromatic. It gives a refreshing and delightful fragrance. Contrast this with something that has a bad odor: people shun anything bad smelling. Precious ointment is permeating: it fills the room. A good name permeates and cannot be hidden. Precious ointment is rare. A very good name is also rare. A good name is not contained in a corked bottle. It is like ointment poured forth that encourages all who smell it.

We see the preference.

“Therefore do the virgins love thee.” It is important that we build a name that is preferred and loved. Solomon said that a good name is better than precious ointment (Ecclesiastes 7:1). In Acts 16, Timotheus was well-reported of by the brethren at Lystra. That was sufficient for Paul to consider recruiting him to accompany him on his second missionary journey. As a young man, he was respected and had a good name. Do not seek popularity: rather, seek a name that is like ointment poured forth. Do not seek to be everyone’s friend: seek, instead, to be someone whom everyone respects and holds in esteem. Be someone people love because you have character and consistently do and say what is right.

Have a blameless God Morning!

Bible Reading Schedule: Matthew 15-17

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