What character qualities come to mind when someone hears your name?
I am in the midst of reading Carl Sandburg’s biography on Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. The various nicknames associated with this great man have intrigued me–Honest Abe, The Rail Splitter, The Great Emancipator are some of the nicknames that are part of his life story. Lincoln’s enemies mocked his tall, lanky appearance; however, even they admired his honest character.
Proverbs 22:1 presents us with a similar lesson concerning the reputation associated with our names.
Proverbs 22:1 – “A good name [honorable reputation] is rather to be chosen than great riches [wealth], and loving favour [grace] rather than silver and gold.”
Your character and life choices have shaped and colored the hue of your name. A good reputation is not something you seek or buy with silver and gold; it comes from an honest life that is proven and consistent. It is better to be a man whose name is honorable and whose life is graced by God’s blessings, than a rich man with a soiled reputation. Your parents named you, but you own the definition of your name.
Before I close today’s devotional thought, allow me to leave you with a second parable.
Parable 22:2 – “The rich and poor [destitute] meet together [concur; encounter]: the LORD is the maker [Creator] of them all.”
There is little difference between the rich and the poor; with the exception the rich man has much goods. We are all God’s creatures and His creation. Whether rich or poor, we are sinners in need of a Savior Redeemer—Jesus Christ. A rich man is no better than a poor man and a poor man is no less than a rich man. Regardless of the designer label in our clothes, we need God’s mercy and grace. We read in the Book of James:
James 1:9-10 – “Let the brother [Christian] of low degree [poor circumstances] rejoice in that he is exalted [rich in Christ]: 10 But the rich, in that he is made low [humbled]: because as the flower of the grass he [rich man] shall pass away.”
Regardless of how rich you are in earthly possessions, death is the great equalizer and the rich and poor are the same.
A man’s worth is not defined by what he owns, but by what/who owns him. What value has God placed upon your soul?
Romans 5:8 – “But God commendeth [demonstrated] His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”