I love looking up the meaning of people's names. In fact, as a gift to a group of women not long ago, I gave them each a card that included their name, the character quality of their name and a scripture verse that goes with their name, like those pictured here. In fact, I love helping new parents understand the meaning of the name they're choosing or have chosen for their child.
Throughout history, a person's name was very important. In Biblical times, a person's surname linked them to their genealogy and even their first names often described their circumstances. For example, Abraham, Father of Many Nations.
When King Solomon said these words, "A good name is better than a good ointment" (a sweet smelling savor), he was speaking about their character. In ancient days, perfumes were very costly and a good name (not referring to the actual name, but their character) didn't compare in value.
We can certainly put on perfume or aftershave and we'll smell good for a short time, but a good name is lasting. It stays with us wherever we go, in every setting in life. We hear "Hitler" and we think a notorious, ruthless, diabolical dictator and murderer. We hear "Mother Teresa" and we think a loving, compassionate, giving caring, and servant of true character and honor.
What do people think when they hear your name? Is it good or bad? I have good news. When we connect and stay connected to God and desire to become like Him in character and integrity, we'll start becoming like Him, regardless of the name our Mom and Dad chose for us. Let's live in such a way, that if someone spoke badly of us -- no one would believe it!