The Worthy Name

There was once a man who had, from his youth, worked hard to build a good name for himself. He had always been honest, reached out to the needs of others, was hardworking, and manifested a morally pure life in the community. The townspeople held him in great esteem.

The man had a son, who for some reason, didn’t follow the example of his father. As the son neared manhood, he began to drink, and run with the wrong crowd. He gained a reputation of dishonesty, and was immoral in his life. Many wondered why he was that way, having such a godly father.

One day the father called his son to tell him what a disappointment he was, and of the shame he had brought to the family name - the name that he, the father, had spent a lifetime to build. It was a name that he didn’t want dragged through the dirt by his son’s actions. Finally, he told the son, “Change your ways or change your name.”

When a person becomes a child of God, he takes the name of Christ. He becomes a “Christian.” 1 Peter 4:16 indicates that we are to glorify God in the name “Christian.” Ephesians 4:1 tells us that we, as Christians, are to live a life worthy of the calling we have received. Philippians 1:27 teaches that we are to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. According to Philippians 2:9-11, at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

It’s sad that there are many whose lives do not reflect the image of Christ who they claim to serve. There are many so-called Christians who dance, drink, gamble, and do all the ungodly deeds which are common among worldly people. In the Bible, when God’s children brought shame on God’s Holy name, He disowned them.

If we’re not willing to have the kind of behavior which reflects the high and holy name of God and His Son, but are living like the people of the world, we ought to “change our ways or change our name.”

(Originally Written and/or Compiled by Tom Sutherland)

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