Bible Reading Blog
“What's in a Name?”Categories: Congregational Bible Reading
Bible Reading: Proverbs 22
Why is it that you don’t meet people named Jezebel? If I had to guess it is because most people know the story of Jezebel in the bible and what a wicked woman she was. To this day the name Jezebel is associated with all kinds of negative stories… in fact I don’t think there is anything positive said about her in the bible. Her name was tainted by her actions, and to this day, we associate the name Jezebel with wickedness.
We understand on a practical level that our name means something—it matters what people think about when they hear you name. When your name is spoken, what people think of, matters. Yesterday in our bible reading the father encourages his son to consider the value of a good name: “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.” (Proverbs 22.1)
In our world having money will allow you to do a lot of things: to have influence over people, you can do a lot of good and encourage change. But the father says having a good name is better than that… why? What the father is really pointing to is influence and integrity, isn’t he? A good name is valuable because it demonstrates that we are people who do what we say we’re going to do and that is worth more than any amount of money.
Just ask the guys at Enron. Enron was the largest oil and gas conglomerate in the early 2000s. They were making money left and right and their stock was through the roof. Everybody was investing in Enron back then… but then they got caught committing corporate fraud, everything went south, and nobody wanted anything to do with them. After the collapse, the company tried to get itself back together and move on… but nobody wanted anything to do with “Enron”, and they eventually had to change their name.
You see, you can have riches, you can have gold and silver, but if people think you’re a scoundrel it doesn’t matter what you have. And as Christians that should matter to us. I know you can’t control everything people think about you… but like we talked about in bible class Sunday, we ought to be people of integrity, so that if someone were to say something bad about us, nobody would believe.
We should be people that are consistent, trustworthy, and wise in the way we live our lives… because if we are not these kinds of people, it doesn’t just affect us. Having a good name matters because we are stewards of somebody else’s name: Jesus Christ. And so, we need to live in such a way that brings honor to his name.
What do people think of when they hear your name? Let’s be mindful of this as we go back into our lives tomorrow to put God first and live in such a way that our name reflects honorably on his name.