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3 Reasons A Good Name Is Better Than Riches (Proverbs 22:1)

Hidden Nuggets Series #81 – “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold.” – Proverbs 22:1

What’s the status of your name?

a good name is better than richesWould you say it is good?

Do you even care how those around you view your name?

I’m not talking about the actual name. Mine is Brian. There is nothing fancy about that as over one million people in the U.S. share it. It’s statistically the 29th most popular first name.

I’m talking about what your name implies. When people hear it what do they think of you?

A good name really speaks to your integrity. Therefore, it’s about your reputation and the character you have inside. It identifies who you are from a moral and ethical standpoint. Essentially it is what you are all about.

The Bible says in Proverbs 22:1 “a good name is to be chosen rather than great riches…” That’s amazing! Your good name is better than all the money in the world. That’s what people think when your name is mentioned.

Does that seem odd? I mean I could find some positive ways to use great riches. It sure would set my mind at ease knowing I’d never need to worry about money again.

That may be true but a good name still provides more value than money. Here’s why.

Why a Good Name Is Better Than Riches

I can think of three reasons why a good name is better than great riches:

1. A good name provides stability

When you have a good name people can trust you. That trust is a stabilizing factor in your relationship with them. They know what to expect from you and can lean on your decisions with absolute surety, knowing they were made with pure motives.

Those whose good name has been tarnished have a difficult time building trust and consequently maintaining friendship. Their motives will always be questioned as insincere. They are more or less seen as looking out for themselves and taking little consideration for the needs of others.

And how often do you question the motives of those who throw their great wealth around? Doesn’t it seem like there are often strings attached? That they have an ulterior motive for using their money?

Related Content: 12 Bible Verses About Friendship That Will Make You a Better Friend

2. A good name is eternal

Riches are fleeting. They could be with us one minute and gone the next. And of course we know that we can’t take riches with us once we leave this world at the time of our death.

A good name however is theoretically eternal. How many men and women of history are still being spoken of in a positive light? Wouldn’t it be special if that could be you?

How will your legacy be remembered and portrayed by family, friends or colleagues once you are gone? Will they focus on the value of your good name or only remember that you cared about money? One of those will provide fonder memories and produce more positive future dialogue than the other.

3. A good name brings loving favor

The ending phrase of Proverbs 22:1 says, “…loving favor rather than silver and gold.” As we are to seek a good name instead of riches, so we are also to seek loving favor over riches. And I can think of no better way to garner loving favor than to have a good name.

People will love you for having integrity. They appreciate you for the kindness, mercy and attention to their needs that you show. They will stay by your side when you are attacked.

And let’s be honest – we all would prefer to be loved, right? “I want to be loved” is one truism to which we can all relate.

While riches we could live without, a life that doesn’t experience love would be devastating.

In conclusion, riches are not evil and there is nothing wrong with having them. But a good name is better than riches, better than all the riches of the world. It provides more value in the present and the future. Do you need to start working on yours today?

Questions for Discussion: Do you believe that a good name is better than riches? Is your name in good standing with those around you? If not, what caused it and how could you turn it around? Have you lost sight of your integrity in the pursuit of riches? How popular is your actual name (click on the link at “most popular first name”)?

Original image courtesy foto76 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Comments

  1. Thank you for the words of God.You made me realize why God told me to read this bible verse in my dream…

  2. Hi Brian, thanks for sharing. You know I am in country that is filled with corruption and this article helps me not to be tempted to tarnish my name for the sake of money or anything.

  3. Jayson is common. I used to hate it because there are lots of people whose name is Jayson. But now, I really need to accept and value it so I am doing the best I can do to make my name a reputable one. I just basically do what is right, always. In all, I hope I am building a good name.
    Jayson recently posted…Short Term Pain for Long Term GainMy Profile

  4. I am always interested in Biblical passages that set up two sides of a coin. Proverbs 22:1 seems in some ways to contrast with the first part of Proverbs 29:25 “The fear of man will prove to be a snare …” So on the one hand, we are not to “fear” what people think of us, but on the other hand, a good name or reputation is of great value. I think that by focusing on the 2nd part of Proverbs 29:25 – “but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe” – we gain the “good name” that the “fear of man” pursues in vain. (I hope I’ve made sense!)
    Prudence Debtfree recently posted…Debt-Reduction Website: fruclassity.comMy Profile

  5. I agree that a good name has no price. I believe that I have a good name in my community, which I worked hard to cultivate. I am very active in our Church and community and built trusting relationships with my clients. And Michelle is absolutely right – it takes a long time to eliminate negative associations with name/reputation – so I try to be very careful that I don’t do anything damage mine in either God’s or my community’s eyes.
    Shannon recently posted…Breaking Financial Gender ExpectationsMy Profile

  6. It take a long time to clear up negative associations with “your person/name” This is a very, very important post that I hope a lot of people take the time to read. My name is the 56th most popular name 🙂
    Michelle recently posted…#GirlBoss Series: Lisa NicholsMy Profile

    • “…clear up negative associations with “your person/name”… And in some people’s minds no matter what you do or how much you turn the corner it doesn’t matter. Such is the cost of damaging your character I guess. I hope/plan to never been in that situation.

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