A good name is more desirable than great riches;
to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
Proverbs 22:1 (NIV)
Several years ago, Connecting Fellowship hosted a “Gold Party.” If you’re not familiar with the concept, here’s how it works. People bring their gold pieces and a broker exchanges your gold for cold hard cash. It’s that simple.
So family and friends brought chains, cufflinks, earrings, necklaces, pendants, rings, watches, you name it! Some pieces were broken and had missing pieces, but it was the broker who determined if the gold was real, determined the value, regardless of condition, and exchanged it for cash on the spot. Beloved, you should have seen the looks on the people’s faces as they walked away with sizable amounts of cash for what they thought was cheap, worthless, and useless pieces of gold.
With this in mind, Solomon reminds his sons, and now us his spiritual children, that we possess another commodity more valuable than silver or gold. He suggests there are individuals and institutions seeking, striving, and searching for people who possess a good name which is synonymous with a good reputation. This attribute is so valuable it will open doors for you, unlock opportunities for you, and generate trust in you. This trait is so tantamount it will even make people receptive to you without ever knowing you. That’s the power of a good name; that’s the influence of a good reputation.
In Shakespeare’s play Othello, Cassio is perturbed because he has lost the favor of Othello. It impacts him so much until he cries out, “Reputation, Reputation, Reputation! Oh, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial!”
Beloved, that’s the opposite of a good name.
When I was growing up my grandfather stressed the importance of protecting the “Hubbard” name. He would remind me every time I left the house, “The Hubbard name follows you, don’t go out there acting a fool.” Those words guarded my life decisions and shaped who my influencers would be. Mom used to say, “Birds of a feather, flock together,” and those words taught me “The Hubbard” name was to be guarded and protected because it was “more desirable than great riches…”
What about you? How much is your name worth? How valuable is your reputation?
Here is the Biblical lesson for us today: let’s bring a smile to our Heavenly Father because we value the name He has given us. It’s more desirable than great riches and better than silver or gold.