Your name is a very delicate thing. It takes so much less time to destroy it than to build it. You work all your life to establish your name, and it can be ruined in one day-by one word. You can commit a thousand honorable acts, and it can all be washed to sea by one dishonorable act:
"… a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor" (Ecclesiastes 10:1).
That might not seem fair to you, but there it is. You may cry and protest afterward, but it will not help. (You will remember Esau, who for one stupid statement lost the primogeniture and could not get it back "though he sought it with tears").
There is nothing you can buy with your money that can compare with your good name:
"A good name is better than precious ointment …" (Ecclesiastes 7:1).
A good name rivals love itself in importance. We know what the Word of God says about love:
"… If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised" (Song of Solomon 8:7).
I would put the word "name" in that same category: If a man offered for his name all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised.
There are some names you know-in politics, in history, in sports-that, rightly or wrongly, will forevermore be associated with one inglorious act rather than years of glorious seasons. (What else do you know about Monica Lewinsky and Benedict Arnold?) We in Pennsylvania, mired in a pedophile scandal, are learning that the hard way. When a girl in our neighborhood received an autographed photo of the famous college football coach, her father made it a point to show it to me. That was last year. Not so sure he would do so today.