“Reality Winner’” is a young lady who leaked classified documents to The Intercept, online publication dedicated to the protection of free speech by journalists and reporters. We are not sure at this time how her parents came to name her that, but I’m sure that they thought the name would be a great representation of the little girl that they would rear in this world of many uncertainties. According to her mother, her father who has passed away, wanted to name her ‘real winner.’ With changes, she was born as “Reality Leigh Winner. However, her name at this point in time means everything but a real winner. She has not lived up to her name according to many observers. She may be known one day as an “unreal loser.”
Let’s use this unusual name and circumstance for some spiritual lessons.
#1 A good name is exonerated in Scripture.
Proverbs 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
In this text, we see the comparison between a “good name” and wealth, indicating that the good name is worth much more than wealth. But that is not the total verse; it continues with the comparison of loving favor and silver and gold. Since the great riches is parallel to the silver and gold, it would seem probable that the phrase ‘good name’ would be parallel to ‘loving favor.’ “Loving favor” could be a definition of the grace of God, for grace is defined as the unmerited favor of God who loves without expecting anything in return. God, a name, is then a “good name” for it corresponds with “loving favor” or grace. God, a good name, is a gracious person, showing favor and love without any expectations of return. Only a person who had a nature like God can be such a gracious person. God shows loving favor. Thus we are to show loving favor or grace like God in order to have a “good name.” The loving favor of the person demonstrates or manifests that he has “a good name.”
Back to our Reality Winner; she obviously showed favor to some people, but was it loving favor? Apparently, her favor was to destroy another person. That is not the loving favor of God who always attempts to redeem the person not destroy the person by his loving favor. Thus, we have another contrast—Reality Winner as a name with “good name” and “loving favor.” Obviously, reality will not show the two synonymous.
#2 A good name is better.
Ecclesiastes 7:1 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth. This is a similar statement and comparison. “Precious ointment” is costly and associated with wealth. Thus, again we have repeated that a ‘good name’ is better than ‘great riches.’ What is amazing is the next statement connected with this one, “the day of death” is better (understood) than the day of one’s birth. Only the good name of God can assure that one’s death day is better than the day of one’s birth, for the death of a person lost and without Christ can hardly be considered a better day since he will enter into a fiery inferno of eternal fire.
To enter eternity at one’s death day in a positive manner (better) is only possible through one good name. That one good name is J-E-S-U-S. Acts 4:12 states, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Mine or your good name, although desired, is not a name that can assure a day of death as a better day than a birthday. Other religious leaders’ names do not assure a death day as a better day. There is only one name that makes one’ day of death better than one’s day of birth.
The Day of One’s Death includes judgment.
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
The Day of One’s Death includes confession.
Romans14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
What will Jesus say at the Day of Your Death about your relation to his good name? “Enter thou into the glory of the Lord,” or “ I never knew you, depart from me.”
The reality of eternal life is only given at the name of J-E-S-U-S, the “Reality Winner.”