Hope for your financial life and beyond

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

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

Have you ever thought about the status of your name? Would you say it is good? Do you even care how those around you view your name?

a good name is better than richesJust to clear up any confusion, I’m not talking about your actual name. Mine is Brian. There is nothing fancy or unique about that as over 1.2 million people in the U.S. share it. It’s statistically the 29th most popular first name as of the time of this writing. 

I’m talking about what your name implies. When people hear your name mentioned, what do they immediately think about you?

In this context, a “good name” really speaks to your integrity. It’s about your reputation and the character you possess 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 when you think about it. Your good name is better than all the money in the world!

Does that seem odd? It certainly doesn’t fit with what culture thinks about having money. I mean, I could find some really positive ways to use great riches. It sure would set my mind at ease knowing I’d never need to worry about money again.

Related Content: My Go to Bible Verse When I Worry About Money

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 confidence, 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?

You don’t want to be in situation or relationship where people don’t trust you. Trust helps relationships and friendships grow deeper. Your good name will go a long way in making that happen.

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 life or only remember that you cared about yourself and your wealth? One of those will provide fonder memories and produce more positive future dialogue than the other.

Additionally, your character will have an influence on those around you, especially children. Kids are more likely to model the character traits of their parents and others (like teachers or coaches) who have positions of influence over them. In that way, the best parts of you can theoretically be passed down from generation to generation, thus making your good name eternal.

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.

So ask yourself, “Do you need to start working on your good name today?” It might take awhile to build or rebuild, but there is no doubt in the end it will be worth it.

Leave a Comment or Answer a Question Below: 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 above at “most popular first name”)?

Original image courtesy foto76 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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  1. Pro 22:1 is not talking about your reputation…the verse specifically says…”rather to be chosen”. Reputation is what others think of you, you dont get to choose what others think. its talking about a name of a person. God named Adam, told him to give names to every living creature. Named Abraham &Sarah, Isaac. Jacob to Israel. John the Baptist and ultimately Jesus. Name your kids with good names, not after other gods or idols. I know some who have the name Ford. God not respect or of persons

  2. Jacob Mbiro says

    This has really helped me on the importance of positive reputation.. that with a good name, other things get their way into one’s life

  3. This is just awesome. I enjoyed reading the way this scripture Prov. 22:1 was analysed. There’s hidden and an unknown wealth that people don’t always go after and that’s favor with men in terms of relationship. A good name is one of the factors that attracts this favor. When you’re favored by men, there are things and places you can’t afford to get or to go. But this favor can earn you all of these things.

  4. God bless you for such a good information.

  5. Robert Arnold says

    When your integrity is good and your motives pure day by day, your name will withstand any attack.
    Most in your territory will consider the source, not stand for it, and then defend your good name.
    Consider the source.

  6. Amen Bryan, I was just sent a post highlighting the great names of our country all focusing on the racial disparity, not one name referred to a big black started company. I immediately remembered Proverbs 22:1 and followed a link here. What a wonderful piece and commentary..bless you and keep up the good feeding. 🥰

  7. Rylee Diza says

    Thank you for sharing your heart with these. Hope a lot more be inspired to live a good name over pursuing riches.

  8. Thanks Brian for this perspective on “a good name”. Why what people think of us is very important, God’s verdict is final. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was maligned by various persons and religious leaders of His days, however, he remained focus. If someone or group of persons make it a project to assassinate your character do not allow it affect you. If falsehood travels for twenty years the truth will overtake it in one day is a popular adage in my local community. Keep living according to biblical principles and those that de-advertise you will swallow their words at the appropriate time.

    • ” If someone or group of persons make it a project to assassinate your character do not allow it affect you.” You are absolutely right Jesse. But this is so hard, especially when it ends up being people who a) you respect and b) people you thought were friends. In the end, you can’t control what people say about you. They will be held accountable for their own actions one day. It’s not for me to judge why they say or act the way they do.

  9. Hello Brian!
    I enjoyed everything about this message, especially the 3 reasons stated above about a good name according to the scriptures, is better than riches.
    But My question is: what about those who you haven’t faulted, circumvented or stolen from before, yet your name have been soiled for no reasons without your knowledge and you have no way to defend yourself, because someone had sowed a wrong seed in the tour name within a forum, community or circle and you don’t have any idea, all you observe is rejections, unkept promises, even when those who aren’t experienced are given the opportunity and they failed and it’s still not a problem, and yet favored.

    This scenario could be because someone who feels intimidated by your personality, either because the person is more intelligent, experience or more acceptable to people in that circle, and they have access to the forum and realized that if you are presented positively to the key persons in that forum, community or circle you will be made the head, or controller of some projects which they will have to serve you. Therefore, to prevent that from coming your ways, they will move ahead of you and sow a wrong seed in your name and people just seeing you around with all bunch of ideas and as a problem solver, yet avoid dealing with you or giving you a chance or even told you of your crimes.

    How do we address this? And where do you start finding the negativity when there’s no dealings with you.

    • Hey Manny…thanks for the comment. The situation you present is a real tough scenario. I guess my encouragement and advice to you would be to live your life in a way that contradicts what is being said about you. If someone spreads false accusations about your character to a group of people, you can’t control that. And, it makes sense that that group may be hesitant to deal with you initially. However, if the group sees through their own personal interactions with you, that you do not demonstrate the qualities being spread around by the accuser, they will probably reject what was said about you in the first place. Your actions will speak louder than someone else’s words. And, my guess would be that the initial accusations would come to light eventually (by the group confronting the accuser) because they will see inconsistencies in how you live vs. what was said about you.

  10. I used your illustrations on Fm Radio program in Nigeria & my listener was thrilled. Thank you. Val

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

  12. 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.

  13. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank says

    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.

  14. 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!)

  15. 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.

  16. 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 🙂

    • “…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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