A Good Name

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In all you do, try to keep your good name. Ask the Lord to help you be honest today.

“Whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” —John 15:16 (rsv)

I was called in at the very last minute to substitute in a very lively class of fourth graders. Feeling disorganized and unprepared, I felt even worse when I searched the desk and couldn’t find the lesson plan the principal had mentioned. God, help me get through this day. Or if You are really busy, at least this morning.

I did find the roll book, though, and just as I was about to call names, a boy sidled up to my desk and whispered among the roar, “Miss, when you call the roll, can you please do it by first names, not by last?”

Mystified, I murmured, “Sure,” and he looked relieved. As I scanned the list, I saw his reason; his last name was Looney. I could just imagine the catcalls and teasing he got when his name was mentioned.

The best thing was, it gave me a good idea for the impromptu lesson: “What does it mean to have a good name?” As the kids came up with answers—good reputation, no lying, no cheating, no stealing—a nice little discussion followed.

As I dismissed them for lunch, another kid sidled up to my desk. “Uh, teacher?”

“Yes?”

“Um, some kids and I thought it’d be funny to put your lesson plan up there.” He pointed to the top of a very tall cabinet. I opened my mouth to scold him but then stopped. “Thank you for being honest,” I said. He grinned. “I have my good name to think about!”

Lord, let me be honest and kind today. In all I do, let me try to keep my good name.

Written by Linda Neukrug

Digging Deeper: Prv 12:22; 2 Cor 8:21

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