Summary: “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” (Proverbs 22:1).
A good name is to be chosen over great wealth
“A good name, like good will, is got by many actions and lost by one.” -Lord Jeffery
“A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” (Proverbs 22:1).
Though this verse is a very short one-liner, there is an incredible piece of revelation contained in it showing us what we should all be striving for & what is really most important in this life. Life is very short. Sooner or later we will all die & cross over to the other side – which will either be heaven for the saved or hell for the unsaved. Bottom line – God is the Potter & we are the clay. If we can let God do the kind of transformation work He wants to do with us, then we can leave this world having a very good name, then we can have the satisfaction and fulfillment that we did everything God had asked us to do for Him in this life, along with leaving a legacy and loving memories into the hearts of people. A good name requires right desire, training, sacrifice, and daily discipline. It takes a lifetime sometimes to have a good name, but it only takes one mistake, one moment in lapse of judgment to destroy decades of work.
For the most part, a man's reputation is based on his character. A man's character is known by his conduct and his speech. Christ said "every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit." Having made that observation, the Lord explained that the true character of men will be known by their fruits that are by their conduct and speech. God has given us each a name and placed us in a particular family, community and a Nation in order to serve Him to greater heights within that family unit. Before the beginning of time our names were chosen and written in His book of life. So, guard the name to which God has given you.
Also Notice that the ninth commandment forbids the doing or saying of anything that would in any way jeopardize a man's reputation. "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:16) What a sad thing it is when a man's good name is ruined because someone deliberately told lies about him. Those who do such a thing take something from a man that can never be fully restored. Once a man's good name has been ruined, it is most difficult to fully restore it. God gave the ninth commandment to preserve the good name of men.
To take this further, we can note that there are three elements in this commandment as given in Exodus 20, First of all, there’s “bearing or giving false witness.” Bearing false witness simply means reporting something that is not true. The second element sometimes captures the intent and motivation, but also and always the outcome. That’s found in the word “against.” This is communicating something that will hurt someone that will be for ill and not for good. Bearing false witness against means passing information that does not defend and promote anyone’s honor and reputation. Finally, the third element is there with the object: “your neighbor.” “You shall not give false testimony/witness against your neighbor.” Then someone might ask who my neighbour is? And we all know the answer that the Lord Jesus gave to that question: our neighbor is anyone whom God places on our path.