Vol.XIX No.VII Pg.4
September 1982

A Good Name

Robert F. Turner

"A good name is to be more desired than great riches, favor is better than silver and gold" (Prov. 22:1).

How do we know the man who has the "good name"? Is "John" better than "Elvis" and "Mary" better than "Jezebel"?

The man with the good name is the man or woman with a good reputation. What is known about them and what they reveal themselves to be is their "name." More precious than material prosperity is the "name" that is good.

The man with the good name is one whose reputation matches his designation. You call him a gentleman because he acts that way, that's just what he is. He has earned the right to any noble epithet because of his life.

The man with the good name teaches as good a lesson with his life as he does in the pulpit. There is consistency between what is said and what is done. His words have force and meaning and those listening take him seriously and respect him because they know he lives what he says. No sermon or article will ever rise above his life.

The man with the good name is an asset to the community in which he lives. He is like the cities here in the Hill Country, their light cannot be hid. He "holds forth the word of life" (Phil. 2:16) by his own life. The mail carrier, the neighbors, the man at the dry goods store, the principal at the school all attest to his worth in the community and say, "We sure hated to see them leave town...they meant so much to folks here." And when they say it you know it is from the heart, not just idle talk. It is more than courteous formality. It is respect.

The man with the good name is the best "advertising" that the local church will ever have. His life in the community has meant more than all the money spent on telling folks the times and place of assembling. The chances are that most people in town will know that anyhow...the man with the good name will have already told them.

The man with the good name leaves a fine heritage to his children. Fortunate indeed are the offspring of such a man: the mere mention of his name as being that of theirs through birth will put smiles on faces and open many doors.

Finally, the man with a good name sure makes it "hard" on the fella who follows him! I know. I'm following (but not taking the place of) Dan Shipley. And, in the process of getting settled in Burnet, Prov. 22:1 has taken on new meaning.

No, this isn't Dan's obituary. If he's even sick I don't know it. Nor is Dan paying for the "advertising." He won't like the fact that this was written and printed. And it isn't flattery. I just thought it should be said that that's the way it is with the Shipley name in Burnet, Texas; and the way it should be with our name wherever we live. David Smitherman