“A good name is to be chosen over great wealth; favor is better than silver and gold.” - Proverbs 22:1 (HCSB)
I remember being encouraged by my parents to always be careful not to ruin my reputation. I am aware that the counsel of my parents was good and even godly, but like most of us will do, I had a tendency not to heed good advice, especially when it was coming from my parents.
I can recall thinking to myself, I don’t care what anyone else thinks, I am just going to be me. Along with this attitude came several opportunities to learn the lesson my parents were trying to teach me the hard way. You know, when you do something really dumb and pay the consequences of loosing your best friend because of it. Yes, reputation does matter.
In 3 John we find a letter written by John to his dear friend Gaius. In this letter, John prays for his friend and commends his friend on the good reports he hears from the work that he is doing in the name of the Lord through His church. John stated, “I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (3 John 4 HSCB) Basically John’s statement is a reminder that the way in which we walk (live our lives) does make an impact on others around us. There again is that important truth we cannot afford to overlook: how we live our lives before men will become our REPUTATION.
The writer of Proverbs states, “A good name is to be chosen over great wealth.” Wow! That’s a tough one to swallow. I mean, don’t we all work our fingers to the bone in this life in order to gain wealth so that we can be seen by our peers and others in this world as being successful? Well, isn’t it just like God to give us a verse like this to burst our “PRIDE” bubble and bring us back to the state of “HUMILITY” that is necessary to be used by Him in this life?
Not only do we have our own reputation to protect, we also must protect the reputation of our Lord, for we are ambassadors of Christ. Are you choosing the good name of Jesus over the wealth of this world by your actions each day? When others see you, are they seeing an individual that has put Jesus first? Are you surrendering daily to Christ so that He might freely use you to build up His reputation? Is Jesus part of your life or is He the PRIORITY of your life?
My desire is that each day that I live that I will worship, magnify, and praise the name of Jesus is all that I say and do so that all who see me will know the reputation of the One who lives within my heart. His name is JESUS!