A Good Name

From The Primitive Baptist Feb 2021

Elder Mark Green

Proverbs 22:1 “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour than silver and gold.” Here Solomon leaves no doubt whatsoever about the value of a good name. Whatever it is, we ought to want it and to strive with all our ability to gain it.

What constitutes a good name? People make heroes and idols today out of the most unsavory and disgusting types of individuals, whose conduct should be considered reprehensible by any right-thinking person. Does the fact that a sizable portion of the population heaps adoration upon some performer cause his name to be a “good name”?

God, and He alone, defines what a good name is. If we have a good name, then we are known for doing right - “right” as defined by God. If candid and honest people who are familiar with or lives regard them as being typified by conduct that God commends, then we have a good name,

Some men's opinions do not matter. Isaiah pronounced a woe upon men whose thinking is perverse and crooked: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light and light for darkness” (Isa. 5:20). These men's view of things is just the opposite of the truth. They rejoice when the situation is upside down from what it ought to be. To them a good name would be a bad name.

However, the opinions of right-thinking men (even if not religious individuals), do have meaning. Brother Paul told Timothy that one of the qualifications for a man to have before he can be ordained as a bishop is that  “he must have a good report of them which are without.” Without, here refers to people outside the church. 

Obviously, this does not mean any and every man outside the church, because, as we have mentioned above, the thinking of some men is so perverted that their views should be ignored.

There was a time (and so it should be today) when the fact that a man was a Primitive Baptist was as good a credit reference as he could have. Because of that, Old Baptists had a reputation for honesty among men who were honest. To have a good name among honest men is worth something. It is worth a great deal. Indeed it is worth more than money.