Proverbs 22: 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
Proverbs 22 is about reputation, humility and posture towards Father God. A Kingdom Man’s reputation has immense value. It is valuable not because of the man, but because of the One who backs him. Like the “green back” or a contract, they are not worth the paper they are printed on if the guarantor is sketchy.
Yesterday, the British Ambassador to the United States was expelled by the British government because his personal opinions about the American President did not align with the government’s message.
As Kingdom Men we are viceroys and ambassadors for our Heavenly Father. Our actions, good or especially bad, reflect the Father more they they do us. Have you ever been in a conversation that started, “I thought you said you were a Christian…” That conversation rarely leads to an action that is complementary to the heart of God. And yet it was us, not God, that shaped their opinion.
The Father’s good name is rooted in His love. In John 13:34-35, Jesus tells us how we will be known. He tells us what aspect of our reputation is valuable “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
So what happened, how did we stray from our Good Name? Take a poll at work or in your neighborhood, especially among your non-Christian friends, ask them for three words to describe Christians (especially Evangelicals). Are you surprised if love isn’t in their top three? I tried this on the National Mall, love did not make the top three. In some cases it didn’t make the top 10 when folks went on a rant. So what happened? How is it that what Jesus said is at the core of our reputation is seen by our society? We may be salty, but not the way Jesus called us to be. We may be light, but it’s being received like high-beams on a two-lane road? Yes, the enemy plants lies about us as Christians, but if we’re honest, we have also been complicit in sullying the image of Christians.
Today’s Training: Poll your office. Not only will you learn from their perspective, but their answer will be a barometer for your witness. Remember we are Ambassadors. We represent the Father and His Kingdom always. Carry the message that God has given you from His heart, filter yourself out. None of us demonstrates love from our own spirit. It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Hear me on this, God will not expel you. But you can stifle His work if you are not aligned with His Kingdom’s heart and vision.
“And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” 5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith.” Mark 6:3–6).
We want them to marvel, but at our love, and the Name of our God.