Links Daily Devotional

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Naming Names

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. (Proverbs 22:1, NIV)

Cameron Tringale, featured in this year’s Links Players magazine, is doing a pretty good job of making a name for himself this season. A runner-up in last week’s FedExCup playoffs opening event, Tringale will try to add to his season total of $1,925,303 at the Deutsche Bank Championship. The one thing missing for Tringale? A win. Other than that, the fifth-year veteran has done a pretty nice job of making a name for himself.

Of course, golf isn’t the only avenue to a good name. Plenty of athletes, golfers or not, have performed with excellence when it comes to the demands of their sports, then botched things quite royally when it comes to their behavior on the field and off. Tringale is not one of those. His mid-play demeanor is marked by a cool head, and when you get him away from the game, he speaks humbly and warmly.

Tringale, no matter how you dare to pronounce it, carries a good name (it’s “trin-golly,” by the way).

A good name is a funny expression, really. We don’t mean it the same way we do when someone is introduced to us and we respond, “Oh, I like your name.” Rather, having a good name means that you possess an honorable reputation. It’s a duality traced all the way back to early Hebrew, where shem could point to one’s reputation or to their literal name. More than that, shem drew a connection the Name—that is, the name of God, YHWH. It was—and still normally is among the Jewish community—a name unspoken. Thus, reverence was given to the Name.

With all this in mind, we are able to see a powerful connection between the honor of God and the honor we might seek for ourselves. The latter seems almost wrong, in fact. Should we be seeking honor for ourselves? Yet Solomon’s observation suggests that to be esteemed is a good thing, “better than silver or gold.”

The key question must then be, for what shall we seek to be esteemed? The answer never lies in earthly pursuits—in academics, athletics, or business. Rather, we must pursue esteem on the basis of how we reflect the God of all glory. Are we merciful, as he is? forgiving, as he is? righteous, as he is? loving, as he is? Our name is made good when it is linked to his, when people say of us, “Oh, that Cameron, he is a man of God. Oh, that Cami, she is a woman who glorifies the Lord.”

Jeff Hopper
August 29, 2014
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