What’s In a Name?

I was looking for something I'd written several years ago, and I ran across this entry, and thought it was worthy of sharing again.

15 May, 2006

Tonight was a weird night. I was called out to the church twice to deal with the alarm system going off. It has stormed all evening and aparently that somehow triggered the alarm both times. After the second time, one of the police officers and I stayed at the church for about 30 minutes to make sure it was not going to go off again, and we stood and talked about the crazy night. Over his radio we were hearing some really off the wall calls that the police were responding to. Trust me, they themselves would make a great blog entry, but I will save that for another day. I want to focus on one particular part of our conversation that has been running over and over in my mind for the past 3 hours since we talked.

As we were laughing about a certain situation that another officer was responding to, out of the blue this man asked me if I knew a certain man who lives in the county where I live. I told him that I had met him once, but I could not say that I really knew the man, but that I had heard a lot about him. He said to me, "It is a shame you never got to hear the good stuff, before he became like he is now." I didn't say anything, but he began to tell me how this man and his family had been so respected but that because of some poor choices and actions his name and his family's name was just trashed. He went into a lot of detail that I would not repeat, but the gist of his entire conversation was that this fellow had trashed his name and reputation, as well as that of his entire family, and that he would never trust him again.

I have found myself thinking about this now for hours and thinking what a shame this is. One bad decision that led to another, and before you know it, this man is not only no longer trusted, but a family name that was once so well respected is now tarnished not only for this man, but for the entire family.
Proverbs 22:1 says: A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches; and loving favor rather than silver or gold.
It is something for us to think about. I know that the Lord is well able to forgive and to restore, but there will always be some who will never get beyond our moments of weakness. We can argue that this would be their problem if they cannot get over it, but the truth is, we must do all we can to safe guard our name and our integrity. This is one thing that is very difficult to get back once it is gone.