As early as elementary school, I remember being identified as “one of those Nelson children”. Although my last name was Nicholson, I was identified by the family name of my grandmother. Our family had been known throughout that school as a strong, smart, well mannered, studious family with strong parental support. The teachers all new my grandmother, who had established an order by which every child she had would operate in when they left her house. She had eight children and at the first hint of a problem, she was quick to be right there at the school. That was the last thing her children wanted to see. By the time I reached school age, the family reputation and standard were already in place. It preceded us not only in elementary school, but high school as well.
“Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.” Proverbs 22:1 (New Living Translation)
What do people think first when your name is spoken? Does your name bring a warm fuzzy feeling or an upset stomach? When they see you coming do they approach you with a smile or do they act like they don’t see you and hope you keep right on walking? I’m sure if you thought long and hard enough you would find someone you know that fits into either category. I hear your skepticism. “I don’t care what people think about me, Jesus loves me.” While the latter of that statement is true;your reputation, what people estimate you are, can be a hindrance or and asset to your advancement.
Since we are ambassadors for Christ, the least that we can do is to be nice to people. It would be very difficult to win someone to Christ when they can’t stand to be around us because of the drama. The gospel of Jesus Christ is good news. As real as hell is, Jesus did not come across as a fire & brimstone preacher. He was known for his kindness, his love, and compassion, as well as the miracles He performed. Because of his “good name” and his method of teaching, people were more apt to receive from him and follow him. His good name also brought him favor; people received them into their homes and gave toward his ministry of their time and resources. Likewise, our good name should reflect who we belong to; our natural family and our spiritual family. It is our character that draws or drives others; and a good name can give you access to doors that were previously closed.
© Fredrick F. Nicholson all rights reserved