A GOOD NAME
By Rex Spears, (Orinda)
Proverbs 22:1 Proverbs 22:1A GOOD name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.
American King James Version×tells us the value of a good name: “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,” and Solomon in Ecclesiastes 7:1 Ecclesiastes 7:1A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.
American King James Version×tells us much the same thing: “A good name is better than precious ointment.”
For an example of this we need go no further than the lives of Cain and Abel. Cain seems to be the first egotist. Everything centered around him. Abel’s life was centered around God. Over time things just built up until everything came to a head over an offering as we learn when we read Genesis 4:3-7 Genesis 4:3-7  And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering to the LORD.
 And Abel, he also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect to Abel and to his offering:
 But to Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
 And the LORD said to Cain, Why are you wroth? and why is your countenance fallen?
 If you do well, shall you not be accepted? and if you do not well, sin lies at the door. And to you shall be his desire, and you shall rule over him.
American King James Version×:
(3) And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. (4) Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, (5) but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. (6) So the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? (7) If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."
God respected Abel and his offering, however verse five tells us that God did not respect Cain and his offering. Maybe the reason is given in the next few words “why are you angry?"
We all know the story about Cain murdering Abel, and what was the result? Cain’s name was associated with murder and evil. Cain never showed any repentance. He did complain about his punishment. Abel on the other hand is the first name listed in
Hebrews 11:4 Hebrews 11:4By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaks.
American King James Version×, “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.”
This brings up the vital question, what does our name mean to the brethren in the church and also the world?