Monday, March 4, 2013

A Good Name - Proverbs 22:1

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 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, And loving favor rather than silver and gold. 
Proverbs 22:1 (ASV) 

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. 
Proverbs 22:1 (ESV) 
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A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of one’s death than the day of one’s birth. 
Ecclesiastes 7:1
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A good name - The word here in both of the above verses is "Shem" it is translated as name more than 650 times in the Old Testament.  A good name was equated with one’s character or reputation in Hebrew thought.  We still use a "good name" to mean a good reputation today.  A good name is generally equated with good behavior. It is also a token of esteem for a family. Following a path of wisdom and behavior will develop a good name for one in their community or their social circles.  This good name is to be valued more than money and riches.

We should value a good reputation over riches.  BUT –– Having a good name in a bad crowd, is not a good thing.  The circle of friends you hang with will also define your character. If you hang with thieves, and are known as a good thief, what value is that?  You reputation outside of those who are thieves is not so good. This good name valued in this scripture is a name for good things with God and good people. Living wisely and for the Lord will result in a good name. In the end, all the riches of the world cannot salvage a good name.

We can accomplish a lot of good things for ourselves and others with wealth.  If we are blessed with wealth, we are expected to use it for the good of others.  We are to use our riches and our talents to glorify God. More riches therefore demands more giving thereby glorifying God more.  With a good name  and no riches we are able to glorify God and help others.  What greater gift can we give to others that to tell the of the good news - the gospel.  Jesus had neither silver or gold, but He grew in favor with God and man.   Luke 2:52  Develop and keep you reputation among others and love and esteem them.  A good reputation is better than gold.

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When New York's Citicorp tower was completed in 1977, it was the seventh tallest building in the world. Many structural engineers hailed the tower for its technical elegance and singular grace. The tower was notable for its sleek aluminum sides and provocative slash-topped design. The structural engineer who designed the steel superstructure was William J. LeMessurier, who not long after the building was completed was elected into the National Academy of Engineering, which is the highest honor his profession bestows.

But according to Joe Morgenstern in New Yorker magazine, one year after the building opened, LeMessurier came to a frightening realization. The Citicorp tower was flawed. Without LeMessurier's approval, during construction the joints in the steel superstructure had been bolted, which is a common and acceptable practice but does not make for as strong a joint as welding does. What made that a critical problem, though, was that in LeMessurier's calculations he had not taken into account the extra force of a nonperpendicular wind.

He now calculated that the joint most vulnerable to such winds was on the thirteenth floor. If that joint gave way, the whole building would come tumbling down. He talked with meteorologists and found that a wind strong enough to buckle that crucial joint came every sixteen years in New York.
LeMessurier weighed his options. If he blew the whistle on himself, he faced lawsuits, probable bankruptcy, and professional disgrace. He gave a fleeting thought to suicide but dismissed that as the coward's way out. He could keep silent and hope for the best. But lives were at stake.
So he did what he had to do. He informed all concerned. City and corporate leaders faced the problem in a professional manner, and plans were drawn to strengthen the joints by welding steel plates to them. Contingency plans were made to ensure people's safety during the work, and the welding began in August of 1978.

After the work was completed three months later, the building was strong enough to withstand a storm of the severity that hits New York only once every seven hundred years. In fact it was now one of the safest structures ever built.

The repairs cost millions of dollars. Nevertheless LeMessurier's career and reputation were not destroyed but enhanced. One engineer commended LeMessurier for being a man who had the courage to say, "I got a problem; I made the problem; let's fix the problem."

You may come to a point where you realize your life is like that flawed building. Although by all appearances you are strong and successful and together, you know you have points of weakness that make you vulnerable to collapse. What do you do? You come clean, get help, and get fixed.
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A good reputation grows up, a bad reputation shoots up.



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