Rule 23. A good name is to be valued more than gold.
This principle I learned from Scripture, Proverbs 22:1, A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. Solomon was not known as the wisest king for nothing. The Proverbs is one of my favorite old testament books simply because it is one of the most practical.
Whether a Christian or not, the book of Proverbs offers the practical wisdom of a father to a son, instruction on what pitfalls to avoid, and what one should pursue.
We receive our given names from our parents at birth, however, our surname is, usually, from our father. It is a mark of distinction or shame depending on the legacy left to us by the fore bearer.
Robert E. Lee, after the war between the states, became the president of what is now Washington and Lee college. He was approached by an insurance company and offered to pay him a salary for the use of his name, well honored by North and South, in their company.
He replied, “My name is all I have left, I will not be paid for services I have not rendered.” Lee came from an illustrious military family in Virginia, he was the son-in-law to George Washington Custis, the grandson of General Washington. It was said that no man deserved more, to be considered the great grandson of the President more than Lee.
The importance of this rule is not only for ourselves to wish a good name, it is not for simply ourselves that we should seek a good name. Our names, rich or poor, is one of the most essential things we pass on to our children. Our name is more than what we are called, it is the legacy of honor and respect, passed from one generation to another.
If your name has been soiled by the previous owners, then make it something to be proud of, we live not in a generation where men must suffer for their parents mistakes. Take your name and make something of it, leave it better off to the next generation than you received it.