If we were to ask people on the street to list the three most important things in their lives we might hear things like, family, God, career, wealth, and a myriad of other commonly shared values. What I do not think we would hear many claim to be of vital importance in their life is “a good name.” A good name is one’s reputation, and specifically an honorable reputation.

According to Proverbs 22:1 a good name is better than riches; it is greater than silver and gold. But how many times have we forgotten this truth and have become distracted in life because of materialism or money? How often does the sparkle of gold and silver blind our eyes to what is truly valuable?

My downfall is going through a huge hardware store like Lowes and seeing all those new kitchens and appliances. All of a sudden I am discontent with what I have. My heart begins to grumble internally and I covet that which is not mine to have. I lack gratitude for what God has already given me, causing me to doubt his goodness.

Now, riches are not bad in and of themselves. But we have a problem when we allow them to lure us away from a contented life and cause us to act in a way that is not God-honoring. It is bad when we begin to desire wealth and material belongings to such a degree that we lay honor and honesty aside in order to get what we want.  

The world is constantly telling us that we need “stuff” in order to be happy and accepted. But this is exactly the opposite of what God is telling us, isn’t it? We should desire a good name more than gold or silver. We are to desire honor and respect because of who we are and not because of what we have.

Who are you? If you are a Christian, you are a sinner saved by grace; a once-dead spiritual zombie who has been given eternal spiritual life; a person who once was blind but now can see the goodness and mercy of God. You have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus and raised to a new life – a life that is lived in integrity, honor, virtue and goodness, not because we are good, but because God is and He is working in us to desire those things.

You have an inheritance waiting for you that is beyond anything this world has ever seen. What else could this world possibly offer you that compares to what God has already given you? This is who you are. This is what you confess. And your conduct should compliment your confession. This is what it means to have a good name.

Material belongings are good and wonderful gifts from God, but a godly reputation is worth eternally more. Praise God for what you have been given, but ask Him to give you a desire to live in and to love godliness more.

The Bible tells us we are to have a reputation that compliments our confession of Christ. This is more valuable than wealth because it glorifies God.

Looking To Jesus,

Jen Thorn

Jen Thorn

Jen Thorn grew up in Germany and then spent her teenage years in Africa, where her parents were missionaries. She moved to the United States for college and attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago where she met her husband. They have been married for twenty-two years and have four children. Jen lives in the suburbs of Chicago, where her husband is the pastor of Redeemer Fellowship. Jen is passionate about theology and the connection to daily living.

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