To get a name can happen but to few; it is one of the few things that cannot be brought. It is the free gift of mankind which must be deserved before it will be granted, and is at last unwillingly bestowed.-Samson
Getting a name is not our choice. It’s our parent’s choice and the names they usually chose are associated with the time and feelings they had during the pregnancy. Then it is often reflected to the circumstances they encountered during the period of nurturing us inside a womb. So, we have no control over the name given to us at birth.
However, we are responsible to determine the meaning of our name as we grow up. King Solomon was right when he said “Even a child is known by his actions, whether his behavior is pure and right.” We might ask ourselves: “What would be an appropriate name to describe my dominant quality or my reputation? This question is so serious and it requires our deep understanding on how we deal with our own life. Why? Wise King Solomon reminded us that: “A good name is to be chosen rather than the great wealth; To be respected is better than the silver and gold.” For sure, you will agree with the idea that if we gain a good name or reputation in our own community, we have a valuable asset. Of course, making a good name in our own circles start with making a good name first with our God. We should not forget Prophet Isaiah who wrote: “This is what Jehovah says: your Repurchaser, the Holy One of Israel; I, Jehovah, am your God, the One teaching you to benefit yourself, the one guiding you in the way you should walk. If only you will pay attention to my commandments, the peace would become just like a river and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” Meditating Isaiah’s reminder will let us acquire a lasting treasure. Peace, happiness and contentment will overshadow to our being.
Our name often denotes fame or reputation. Just like King David, whose fame spread throughout the lands and God put dread upon him all the nations. Bringing a bad name upon someone meant making a false accusation against that person, marring his reputation. We don’t want this to happen. True, we have our own literal name but giving the essential meaning to it depends on our choice. To have our name “cast out as wicked” would mean a loss of good reputation. A loss of reputation is a grief of one’s soul, a shame to the family, friends and relatives.
At birth a person has no reputation, and therefore his name is little more than a label. That is why King Solomon says: “A name is better than good oil, and the day of death than the day of one’s being born.” Not at birth, but during the full course of a person’s life does his “name” take on real meaning in the sense of identifying him either as a person practicing righteousness or as one practicing wickedness.