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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Destruction of Your Name

Why don't people protect it if a good name means so much?

A good name is essential to the Christian. It is the good name that gives the Christian the privilege of being heard. It is the good name that opens doors. It is the good name that relaxes people.

A good name can be had by building trust. Trust gives you the honor of speaking to others who will listen. Trust makes what you say accepted. It encourages others to follow. It is admired.

Trust takes faithfulness and time. Trust is doing what you say consistently. It is doing what is honorable consistently. Our country has lost this concept. We give children self esteem without teaching them honor. Honor is earned. Not everyone gets to be honored.

I have served on church staffs where ministers have been fired for sinful behavior. Each time the minister didn't understand why he was fired. They thought that people would just forgive and go on. They didn't understand that they had lost the trust of the people. Trust is all that a minister has. There is no ministry when the minister has lost this. Of course, the churches did forgive these ministers. They fired them because they had acted in an egregiously sinful manner. This emptied any trust that the people could have. They would have to rebuild that trust in order to be in the ministry. Trust is faithful plus time.

Some would have said that they came to the churches without having built trust with faithfulness and time but this is not true. They had been inspected at their last place of service and believed to be trustworthy. Their name was good so the church hired them. Now, they had lost the congregation's trust and no longer had a ministry.

In each case, their good names were destroyed in a short time. I do not believe in telling the church a lie when dealing with sinfulness. I don't believe in giving the church all the details either. I tell them as much as the church needs to know. The goal is not to injure the person but to be truthful. Their good name is gone. Their ministry is gone.

Often people will promise to be faithful from that point on. They will promise to rebuild their names. Sometimes they do. These people become exceptionally trustworthy and rebuild a stronger name than they had before. However, most people don't rebuild their names. They just want things to be like they were before they got caught. They neither want to invest the time or effort to get a good name.

A good name must be protected. Often people will say things about you that are not true. They may have surmised that you have done something that you really didn't. You must go to these people and explain what you really did. Otherwise, the rumor will remain alive. Your good name can be lost without protecting it.

You are either building on or eroding your good name every day. You are either doing what you said you would do or you are not. You are either acting trustworthy or not. You are either honorable or not. It is constant.

The Bible says, "A good name is to be more desired than great wealth." Unfortunately most people don't know this until they have destroyed theirs.

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