Day 22 – Proverbs 22

This post is written by my good friend Chuck Vickers who pastors Stokesland Baptist Church in Danvile, VA. Chuck and I go way back to the “pre-marriage days” of college and dormitories. He has been one of my closest friends for over two decades, I appreciate Him and his commitment to His family and the Lord. Thank you Chuck for writing this for us today… I love the way you honored your wife in this post… that is good stuff.

That said…

here we go…

“A good name is more desirable than great riches; 
   
to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” (22:1)

Fickers, Vikers, Victors, Bickers. What do all of these have in common? At various points in my life, I have been called all of these. Now just for the record my last name is Vickers, which I wear proudly now because it’s a good name! However there were times I would have loved to have a name like Smith or Jones because how hard are those names to pronounce correctly, right?

Even though we can’t pick our family name, we all make a name for ourselves. That is what this proverb is really all about. It’s a statement about the value of character over even the most treasured riches. To be sure, being prosperous and having a good name are not necessarily exclusive, but our pursuit of a good name must take priority over pursuit of wealth.

In Hebrew, the word “name” can also mean “reputation, fame or glory.” Henry Ford said this about reputation: You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do. Our name is not earned based on what we plan to do or who we wish we were, but rather it is based on our character.

When I pray for my kids each night, I pray for two things: character & call. I pray for them to grow into adults who value honesty above dishonesty, truth above falsehood. I pray for them to be people of integrity, and then I pray for them to know God’s will for their lives.

I think that order is important and I believe it’s biblical. Jesus indicted the Pharisees as being clean on the outside yet filthy on the inside. On another occasion He tweaked the religious leaders as being white washed tombs. This speaks to the value of character in God’s eyes. And a name is all about character.

While working as a secretary early in our marriage, my wife faced a choice, take part in an accepted yet unethical business practice and keep her job or stand for truth and risk losing her job. I am proud to say she stood for truth even though she was fired.

The choice was much greater than keep your job or lose it. It was keep your name or lose it. Pursue advancement or sacrifice your character. My wife earned something far more valuable than riches that day, she earned a greater name for herself. She became known as someone who valued truth over falsehood.

What are you known for among those who know you best? Do words & principles such as faith, integrity, courage, and compassion come to the fore? Is your name synonymous with dependability and commitment?
What kind of name have you earned for yourself?

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