What exactly is a “good name”? It means having a good reputation, or being known as a person with a good character. The Bible speaks most favorably about having a good name.
A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. (Pro 22:1 NIV)
Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. (Pro 3:4 NIV)
A good name is better than fine perfume . . . (Eccl 7:1a NIV)
Ecclesiastes asserts that a good reputation is better than fine perfume! Does that surprise you? Let’s think about this for a little time. Your good name is all about your integrity—your very character.
When people hear your name, what do they think about you? Do they associate your name with timeliness, honesty, and hard work? Or do they think several negative things instead?
Here are some valuable reasons why a good reputation can be considered better than riches.
- A good name provides steadiness – A person with a good name means that there are positive character traits the person has. When you’re known for having a good character, it causes other people to trust you and to want to deal with you. Trust is a stabilizing factor in life. In business, people will want to hire you or affiliate themselves with you. In personal life, you will have many trusted friends who will remain friends. A person with a good character is easy to love.
- A good name is endless – Think about the many people in history that are spoken of in our time with respect and awe. A good character stays behind when we have gone ahead into eternity. Once we have lived our lives and passed on, what kind of legacy will we have we left behind? How will our children, our family and friends remember us? If we followed Jesus’ example and lived our lives by faith, we can be assured that we will have made a positive contribution to our world.
- God bestows loving favor on those who have a good name. – When a person has a good name (a good character), they receive the favor of God and man. (Ps 84:11; Pro 3:1-4; 33-35) People enjoy interactions with those who make them feel good and who interact honorably with them. People will love you for your honesty; they will appreciate your work ethic; and they will respect your sense of integrity. When a person of good character is assaulted, their friends and associates will choose to defend and protect them. People love to unite together to help a person with a good name.
It’s good to stop and take stock, occasionally, of the state of our reputation. Is it in good shape? If not, there’s still time to make changes in your life in order to repair your good name.