The Importance of a Good Name

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

1 Samuel 18:5 (NIV)
Whatever mission Saul sent him on, David was so successful that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the troops, and Saul’s officers as well.

1 Samuel 18:5 (MSG)
Whatever Saul gave David to do, he did it—and did it well. So well that Saul put him in charge of his military operations. Everybody, both the people in general and Saul’s servants, approved of and admired David’s leadership.
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“So David went out wherever Saul sent him, and he acted wisely and prospered; and Saul appointed him over the men of war. And it pleased all the people and also Saul’s servants.” -AMPLIFIED

After we are informed of the friendship between David and Jonathan we find that David’s good reputation continued to grow. We are told that whatever mission that Saul sent David on he willingly tackled it and was very successful too. Because of David’s great achievements Saul put him in charge of the men of war. All the people of Israel looked favorably on him; including Saul’s servants.

Solomon, David’s son, also knew the need of a good reputation. He penned these words, “A good name [earned by honorable behavior, godly wisdom, moral courage, and personal integrity] is more desirable than great riches; and favor is better than silver and gold.” –Proverbs 22:1 (AMP)

Things appeared to be going well for David until Saul’s pride happened to get in the way once again. (Now remember, the people approved and admired David.) As the men returned back from battle, the slaying of Goliath, they were met by a welcoming committee. “As they returned home, after David had killed the Philistine, the women poured out of all the villages of Israel singing and dancing, welcoming King Saul with tambourines, festive songs, and lutes. In playful frolic the women sang, Saul kills by the thousand, David by the ten thousand! This made Saul angry—very angry. He took it as a personal insult. He said, “They credit David with ‘ten thousands’ and me with only ‘thousands.’ Before you know it they’ll be giving him the kingdom!” From that moment on, Saul kept his eye on David.” -1 Samuel 18:6-9 (MSG)

Notice Saul’s reaction to the praise of David; he was not happy. In fact, he was quite angry. Anyone receiving the glory that he felt was owed to him was in for trouble. The Voice Translation tells us that Saul’s response was this, “Do you hear this? They have said that David killed tens of thousands and that I only killed thousands. What else is left for him but my kingdom?”

David had done everything right, but Saul was angry with him just the same. Sadly, sometimes that is the way jealous people react to those who show them up even if it was not intentional.

We find that Saul’s anger brought with it consequences. “The next day an ugly mood was sent by God to afflict Saul, who became quite beside himself, raving. David played his harp, as he usually did at such times. Saul had a spear in his hand. Suddenly Saul threw the spear, thinking, “I’ll nail David to the wall.” David ducked, and the spear missed. This happened twice.” -1 Samuel 18:10-11 (MSG)

To top it off, now Saul feared David. This all stemmed from the fact that he realized that God’s Spirit had left him and was resting now upon David. “Saul was afraid of David because the Spirit of the Eternal was with him but had left Saul. So, at last, Saul removed David from his presence, making him a commander over 1,000 men, hoping he would die in battle. But David went out to the battle and returned. David was successful in everything he did because the Eternal One was present with him. When Saul saw that David achieved such success, he was amazed and afraid of him.” -1 Samuel 18:12-15 (VOICE)

Once again we are reminded in verse 16 that all of Israel and Judah loved David. This young man had earned himself a good name. He did not do it by putting Saul down, nor by boasting of his accolades, but by just being his normal humble, kind, helpful, friendly self. “He who walks in integrity and with moral character walks securely, but he who takes a crooked way will be discovered and punished.” -Proverbs 10:9 (AMP)

A person’s reputation will follow them everywhere they go. Always be sure that you are living your life honorably before God and man; and be sure that you are keeping a good name!

* “Keep your behavior excellent among the [unsaved] Gentiles [conduct yourself honorably, with graciousness and integrity], so that for whatever reason they may slander you as evildoers, yet by observing your good deeds they may [instead come to] glorify God in the day of visitation [when He looks upon them with mercy].” -1 Peter 2:12(AMP)

* “Companions as we are in this work with you, we beg you, please don’t squander one bit of this marvelous life God has given us. God reminds us, “I heard your call in the nick of time; The day you needed me, I was there to help.” Well, now is the right time to listen, the day to be helped. Don’t put it off; don’t frustrate God’s work by showing up late, throwing a question mark over everything we’re doing. Our work as God’s servants gets validated—or not—in the details. People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly . . . in hard times, tough times, bad times; when we’re beaten up, jailed, and mobbed; working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love; when we’re telling the truth, and when God’s showing his power; when we’re doing our best setting things right; when we’re praised, and when we’re blamed; slandered, and honored; true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognized by God; terrifically alive, though rumored to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die; immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all.” -2 Corinthians 6:3-10 (MSG)

“If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of me.” ~Dwight L. Moody

My Prayer:
Lord, may I live my life in such a way that I glorify you and in so doing I have a good name. My light and testimony for you should be sterling; help me to strive to keep it that way. May I never intentionally cause another to stumble because I chose to please myself instead of you. Lord, you heard my call in the nick of time; at the very moment I needed you. I submit to do your bidding in my life. May my name be synonymous in people’s minds as a child of the Most High God. Be glorified in me I pray.

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