“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?
Would 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 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. 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…” Better than all the money in the world is what people think when your name comes up.
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. Here’s why.
Why Should I Value a Good Name?
I can think of three reasons why a good name is better to pursue 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. 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?
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 will appreciate you for showing kindness, mercy and attention to their needs. They will stand up and support you when you are bombarded with unwarranted attacks.
And let’s be honest…wouldn’t we all prefer to be loved first and foremost? “I want to be loved” is one truism to which we can all relate.
Riches we could live without. A life that doesn’t experience love would be devastating.
Riches are not evil and there is nothing wrong with having them. But a good name provides more value in the present and the future. Do you need to start working on yours today?
Questions: What is the status of your name? Is it 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?
About the author: Brian Fourman is a personal finance writer. He helps individuals and families navigate the challenges of managing their money so that they can grow wealth and live with greater peace of mind. In his down time, he loves hanging out with his four kids and hearing his wife talk about all the cool things CPAs do at work. You can check him out providing encouragement and inspiration on his blog at Luke1428.com or by connecting with him on Facebook.