Proverbs 22:1

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
and favor is better than silver or gold.

This is the lesson George Bailey learned in the movie "It's a Wonderful Life." One earns a good name by living a good life, and that name becomes a sound investment. The person with a good name is more likely to receive help when the time comes. He is more likely to receive the benefit of the doubt should he be slandered. He is more likely to be defended by his neighbors when attacked. Others will speak up for him; people are pleased to do favors for him. Even his opponents will give him respect.

A good name does not guarantee security, and sometimes the good life actually leads to a poor reputation, as even Christ experienced. All the more then the importance of having a good name before God who is our true judge. And all the more important to find one's identity in Christ. It is his name that gives us a good name before God.

And let us exalt now the name of Jesus before whom every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10).

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