A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold - Proverbs 22:1 NIV
Every so often, I will go into Cincinnati and pick up a friend of mine and we will go and have lunch. I look forward to these times because besides the great fellowship and food, he gives me a guided tour of a number of Cincinnati neighborhoods. On yesterday, I had an added treat; he took me on a tour of the manufacturing facility that he works at. During the tour (which was fascinating), I noticed something that was amazing. My friend acknowledged everyone that he came into contact with by speaking their name and asking how their day was going. Equally amazing was the reaction of the people that he spoke to. A smile would spread across their face, their posture would straighten and it seemed that their entire mood brightened. Keep in mind that my friend works in the office and doesn't necessarily have to come in contact with the people on the production line. However, he makes it a point to get out of the office and interact with those that he considers important (which is everyone, even though others in the office may not value these people and do the same).
My brothers, are we guilty of possessing the same attitude as some of my friend's counterparts in the office? Do we stay in our comfort zone and not venture out to take the time to acknowledge others that may not travel in or be a part of our circle? Are we content to operate in our current positions of wealth, class and station as opposed to reaching out to others that may be marginalized? The actions of my friend during our tour served as a wakeup call for me to ensure that my actions align with my declaration of being a Christian.
Today's scripture reminds me of the importance of having a good name and something to be prized more than the possession of an abundance of gold and silver. The pursuit of obtaining and retaining a good name is honorable and reflects the glory of God. I have found in my travels that a Christian with a good reputation has a greater opportunity to impact those individuals that he is trying to win to Christ than those with great riches. As the Benson commentary stated: 'By great riches we may relieve men’s bodily wants; but, by a good name, we may recommend religion to them'. (I discovered this commentary during my study of the above referenced scripture). I want to challenge each of you reading this today to commit to the pursuit of a good name and reputation. In doing so, you will notice that your audience will be more receptive to your message and your efforts. This is a vital step in reaching and making a positive change with those that you interact with on an everyday basis. Like the efforts of my friend in his environment, your good name and reputation will proceed you and will prove to be more valuable than silver and gold.
Ken Sadler is a leader of Men's Ministry at a megachurch and has a heart and passion for helping men become the best they can be.