A Good Name

Text: Proverbs 22:1

When Solomon talked about “a good name,” he was referring to one’s reputation. This is what a person is known for. What are we known for? How important is it to have a good name?

The Comparison

  • Solomon made a comparison between “a good name” and “great wealth” – if we can only have one of these, it is far more important to have the “good name
  • Why did Solomon make this comparison? – not just because both have value, though it is certainly true that both have great value
  • He made the comparison because both are obtained, maintained, and retained in the same way

How to Have Great Wealth

  • Be willing to work (2 Thessalonians 3:10) – work leads to a reward (Proverbs 14:23; 1 Timothy 5:18)
  • Do work that is profitable (Proverbs 28:19) – part of laboring with wisdom (Ecclesiastes 2:21); our work must be valuable to others (cf. Deuteronomy 28:68)
  • Do not squander your wealth (Luke 15:11-14) – we are to be good stewards of the blessings we receive from God (Proverbs 3:9-10; 13:22)
  • Invest wisely (Matthew 25:14-28) – different investments yield different returns

How to Have a Good Name

  • Work for it – reputation is based upon action; difference between what one says and does (Proverbs 20:6); words alone are meaningless (cf. 1 John 3:18)
  • Make sure you’re doing good work – just as not all work is profitable, not all deeds lead to a good name; people should see “good works” in us (Matthew 5:16); not as the world defines “good”; we should be known for following God’s word (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Proverbs 3:1-4)
  • Don’t forfeit your reputation – we can undo years of our positive example through one sin; we can always be forgiven (1 John 1:9), but it can take a long time before others trust us; when we forfeit our reputation, we lose trust (Acts 13:13; 15:36-39) and influence (2 Corinthians 6:3)
  • Be consistent over your lifetime – a good reputation will grow over time (cf. 1 Timothy 3:7); if we have a deservedly bad reputation, we can always repent and do what is right, but “a good name” takes time to build; therefore, we need to commit/recommit now to developing “a good name

Conclusion

  • The value of wealth is universally recognized – but “a good name” is far more valuable
  • We should strive to do what is necessary to build and keep our reputation – not just so others will view us a certain way, but that we can be approved to God

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