A Good Name (Proverbs 22:1)
Proverbs 22:1, A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
Solomon places a priority on the loving favor, acceptance, or approval of men. This approval comes from having a good name and being a person of integrity and character. The Bible mentions two gems of wisdom. A good name and loving favour. A good name (reputation) is to be considered more important than riches and far greater than winning the lottery. It is far better to have a good name than riches. Loving favour refers to having acceptance. The loving favor of people is more valuable than gold and silver. The thought parallels the first. It is better to be acceptable to others than to have large sums of money. One’s reputation and being well thought of is better than wealth. There is no other possession one can have that means more or is worth more than one’s integrity. It’s been said, "If you have integrity, nothing else matters." The man of integrity does what he does because he is what he is. He is the same in public or in private, during times of relative ease or of great pressure.
In 1844, Henry Heinz was born to German immigrants in Pittsburg, PA. As a teenager, he helped support his family by growing vegetables in the family garden. Following his college graduation, he married and began selling horse radish. A major financial collapse in 1875 forced his business into bankruptcy. Notwithstanding the legal freedom bankruptcy gave him, Heinz viewed each of the company’s outstanding debts as a moral obligation and personally paid back every penny. Throughout his life Heinz conducted his business and personal dealings with the same integrity that led him to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars he technically did not have to pay back. Heinz went on to found the H.J. Heinz Company with its 57 varieties and became a leading American businessman. A devout Christian, he was known for the generous treatment of his employees and his generosity to Christian causes. He began his will with these words: “I desire to set forth at the very beginning of this will as the most important item in it a confession of my faith in Jesus Christ as my Saviour.”
The importance of maintaining integrity is beyond any financial price. When people are tempted to cut corners, they often do so without realizing the lasting impact that it will have. Each time we do what is required to uphold and protect our testimony we are making a lasting investment in building a good name. There is no more important or permanent inheritance we can leave behind, than the legacy of a good name. Your good name is truly more valuable than great riches. Many have great riches today, but they don't have a good name to go with their wealth. Your good name helps to give you credibility when you speak to others about Jesus Christ and present the Gospel to sinners needing our Saviour.
Having a good testimony for Christ should be a major issue with every Christian because our example influences other people for good or bad. We are Christ's ambassadors and are walking Bibles that others are watching or reading. When we are unconcerned about our testimony, we are going to make some sinful choices that we will regret later on in our lives. The damage that we inflict will not only affect us, but also others around us. Some of the damage can have eternal consequences if someone rejects the Lord because of something we did. As the pastor of our church, the reputation of our church is important to me. This is why I try to be careful in what I do. When we behave dishonorably, we lose credibility, especially in areas that involve teaching, preaching, or setting a moral example. It is for this reason, we should strive to have a good name. We are to do our best to have a good name which comes from having integrity, character, love, and Christlikeness. May the Lord help us all to choose a good name and be a good example to others. May they see Jesus Christ in us.
Points to Ponder:
May we do our best to be the best example we can be for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Do your best to have a good name for Christ and for your family.
A good name is established by being honest with people.
Questions to Consider:
How important is your testimony for Christ?
Do you guard your testimony?
Are you concerned about the example you are setting for others that are watching your life?
PRAYER: Lord, help me to have a clean heart and clean hands that my walk in this life will be in absolute integrity. In Jesus Name, AMEN.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.