True Riches: The Value of a Good Name
A good name is more desirable than great riches;
to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. (Proverbs 22:1)
We live in a world where the question “what’s in it for me?” is the measuring rod of all that people do and say. We see it as nations jostle for position as they protect their own interests. It will surely be seen in individuals as a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus is developed, wanting to make sure that they get the shot that will ensure their safety.
This is a world that complains about the integrity of politicians as they make lofty promises, but deliver little. A “dog-eat-dog” mentality rules the business sector and corruption is not only expected, there are times that it is applauded. I wish I could say that followers of Christ live radically different than others around them, but that is often not the case. What’s a person to do in such a world?
The Greek word for sincerity helps me understand the value of a good name. The literal translation, Sin Cera, or “without wax” refers to a marketplace description. Vendors of marble statues would cover blemishes in their artwork with a white pasty wax, and polish the final product. If a statue was “sincere,” it would be placed in the direct sunlight where such cover-ups would quickly be exposed.
The heat of the day would show whether or not it was without wax.
In the same way, it is in the midst of the pressures and temptations of life that our sincerity is revealed. A good name (integrity of character in word and deed) is described in this verse as something more desirable than riches; more important than what we get in return for our actions and words. It is one of the ways that we please God, and stand out from others. It is one area in which I need the Holy Spirit to produce Christ-like character and the Fruit of the Spirit in me. That’s my prayer today as I face the pressures of life; as I face the challenges of living in a Covid-19 world.