A Good Name

Proverbs 22:1.

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” (KJV).

Choose Your Own Adventure:

When I was a child growing up in the 80’s, one of my favourite series of books was the Choose Your Own Adventure Books by Bantam. This series contained stories that were written from a second-person point of view, where the reader took on the role of the protagonist and made choices that determined the main character’s actions and the plot’s outcome. It was a very interesting concept, and depending on what choices you made, you either had a good ending, or a bad ending (often resulting in your character’s death).

When I was in junior high school, Choose Your Own Adventure put out a writing contest for teenagers, and I entered it. Although I didn’t win the writing contest, I was pleasantly surprised by a personal letter from editors Edward Packard and R.A. Montgomery, telling me how much they personally enjoyed my story, and encouraging me to continue writing.

You Choose:

As I was reflecting upon today’s Proverb, I thought about how the Bible is like a Choose Your Own Adventure Book. Especially in the Book of Proverbs, God’s Word gives us wisdom for daily living, and encourages us to choose often between two different options. In today’s Scripture, Solomon gives us two sets of options: The first one is to have a good name and loving favour (or high esteem), and the other is to have great riches such as silver and gold.

It is interesting to notice that the Bible’s contrasts of two different options are not always opposites. For example, the Proverb doesn’t say, “A good name is better than a bad name.” Rather, it says, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.” When you read something like that, it’s good to ask yourself, “Why does God contrast those two things?” Could it be because oftentimes people who pursue great riches do so to the exclusion of having a good name? How many people strike it rich, but do so at the expense of others, or by giving up their reputation, honesty or integrity?

The Choice:

In the New Living Translation of the above Scripture, Solomon plainly says, “Choose a good reputation over great riches, for being held in high esteem is better than having silver or gold.” As you’re setting a goal for your life, choose to do what is right and good, and have a good reputation that brings honour and glory to the Lord. Amen!


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