It used to be that a man’s word was his bond. His name was a symbol of honesty, integrity, and responsibility, and he wanted nothing to mar that reputation, so his word was his bond.
Did you know that the Lord is jealous for the reputation of His name? He wants everyone to know that His name is a symbol of the highest moral integrity and trustworthiness. That’s why in the Twenty-third Psalm it says, “The Lord is my shepherd…He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
The point is, it is important that His people do right because His name is at stake. When we claim to be Christians and people know that we belong to the Lord, what we do reflects on the reputation of His name.
The word name appears at the end of verse three as though for emphasis. The text literally says “for the sake of His name.” Now “His name” is a verbal symbol of who God is. It’s a reflection of His character and reputation as a Person. It symbolizes all of the attributes of His glory. It’s how He is known in the affairs of men.
So if His sheep walk in the paths of righteousness, it reflects well on His name as the Shepherd of those sheep. But if they are unruly sheep, doing whatever they want and walking in paths of dishonesty, lies, lust, and greed, they bring dishonor to the Shepherd’s name.
The story is told of Alexander the Great reprimanding a soldier in his army for disorderly conduct. “What is your name, soldier?” he asked. “Alexander,” was the reply. “Well,” Alexander the Great said, “Either change your behavior or change your name!” Remember, the Lord is jealous for His name.
“He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
Say – what do people think of Jesus when they look at your life? It DOES matter, you know!