A Good Name
Thursday - October 22nd
Scripture to Read Today: Proverbs 22:1-29
A good name is more desirable than great riches;
to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
Years ago, when we lived on the East Coast, Lesli and I attended the same church as a popular local talk radio show host. He was a bit of a shock jock in talk radio. Mostly political in nature, he often took shots at current pop culture as well. While he never flirted with immoral topics or tone, he could be seen by people in the community as rough and rude.
On several occasions when I mentioned to others that I attended the church we attended, they would say, "Oh, doesn't that guy attend there?" They would say his name with a sense of frustration and even disdain. His name popped up in many conversations about our church. But, his name never conjured up a healthy image or opinion of our church. Yet, he was not a leader or a critical voice in the church. The talk radio host merely attended the church - and he wasn't even a regular attender.
The church and its leadership had an excellent reputation. People in the community knew it for the moral positions the church took and for the grace in which the church took their stand. But, when the radio host's name got intertwined with the church's image in the community, public perceptions dramatically changed. The name of the church got dragged down by the name of the talk show host.
The Bible has much to say about the importance of a name. In the ancient world, people were not known by the style of house they lived in or the car they drove. Today our identity can be linked to so many material or cultural things. In the ancient world, what a person's name represented to others spoke volumes.
Last month our Take5 devotionals focused on the names and attributes of God. The Bible says the name of the Lord is a strong tower - a place of refuge. It also says, "A good name is more desirable than great riches" (Proverbs 22:1). Names matter. To have a good name rewards us more than attaining great wealth. Satan wants us to believe great riches should be our highest focus.
The world's philosophy and systems point us toward acquiring more stuff. God says we should work on cultivating a life that gives us a good name amongst others. That was obviously something missing with the talk radio host. He didn't care what his name represented or how it could define those closest to him.
What do others think when they hear your name?
Having a good name far outweighs having a great fortune!