July 20, 2021
Daily Reading: Proverbs 22-23
A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
If given the choice would you choose a good name, or great riches? Of a truth there are really four options here: a good name rather than great riches, a bad name with great riches, a bad name without great riches, or a good name with great riches. Given a choice between these four, probably every person reading this devotion would choose the last, a good name with great riches. It’s possible.
However, the question that this verse forces each person to make is this. If great riches are only available by ruining your name (your testimony) would you choose the great riches or the good name? To many this is probably a question of degree. For example, a person may not be willing to ruin their name for $10,000 but for $1,000,000,000 (one billion) they may. This ill-gotten gain may even be justified in their mind. “With one billion dollars I could do a lot of good, why does it matter how I obtained it?” The mind can self-justify almost anything.
But consider this: to whom is the name made good? When the Bible says A good name… who is the audience? In some circles, obtaining great riches via sinful methods gives a person a good name in their social circle. In some circles, obtaining great riches via sinful methods gives a person a bad name. It’s difficult then to consider the phrase A good name… without a baseline reference of the meaning of good. Since this phrase is used in God’s Holy Word, a good name then is one that lines up with His teachings as found in His Word. So, making a jump for sake of brevity, a good name is first and foremost a good name in the sight of Almighty God. This removes any ambiguity. His Word is the standard for goodness.
Therefore, if it is possible to maintain a good name and have great riches. Great! However, if the elusive great riches cannot be obtained unless one’s name is besmirched, tainted, or dishonored, that is when the question must be asked: “If great riches are only available by ruining your name (testimony) would you choose the great riches or the good name?” In other words which is of more value to you? A good name in the sight of the Lord God, or great riches? Something to think about isn’t it?
Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.