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Religion: A Pastor Ponders

Protect your trademark

By Pastor William Jenkins

October 2, 2007

League City News - League City Methodist Church Picture

There is a story told of Alexander the Great. One of his soldiers had been behaving badly, bringing discredit not only upon himself but upon Alexander as well. When the culprit was brought before him, Alexander asked, “Soldier, what is your name?” The soldier replied with a smirk, “Alexander.” The commander-in-chief knocked him flat on his face. He got up and was knocked down again. This was repeated a third time. Then Alexander said, “Soldier, change your ways or change your name!”

How often do we consider how our behavior reflects on those around us? How we conduct ourselves sends a message about the larger group. Sports teams and businesses are particularly sensitive to this today. We represent those we associate with on a sports team, at work, in church, and in our homes and families. If our behavior is good those we associate with will be thought well of. If our behavior is bad, those we associate with will be thought poorly of. We easily become so self-centered that we loose sight of the ripple effect of our behavior. People engaged in destructive behavior often say, “I’m not hurting anyone but myself,” giving no thought as to how hurting themselves hurts the ones around them.

When my children reached their teenage years and began to go out unsupervised with their peers, I would often say to them as they left the house, “Protect your trademark.” They knew what I meant. It was a lesson from wooden baseball bats. Wooden bats are made with trademarks to let the batter know how to hold the bat where the grain of the wood is strongest. If the trademark is not protected by facing it up, the bat could break when hitting the ball. To protect your trademark meant “Don’t do anything to damage your family name.” In this way they learned that their actions reflected on everyone in the family for good or ill. (Unlike Alexander, when they did something unacceptable I did not knock them down or insist that they change their name…however I may have been tempted.)

Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to have a good reputation is better than silver or gold.” Alexander the Great understood this truth. It is one worthy of teaching to our children.

League City United Methodist Church is located at 1411 Main Street (FM 518), one block east of Interstate 45. For information, call the church offices at 281-332-1557 or visit the website at


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