What’s Your Choice?December 11, 2020
“If you could be anyone in the world, who would you be?” This thought provoking question has been asked for many years as a great conversation starter. How one answers this question can reveal a lot about their age. The more mature group might answer with John Wayne or Doris Day. People born in the 70’s and 80’s might suggest names like Bill Gates, Margaret Thatcher, or Michael Jordan. Ask a young adult and you’re likely to hear about a “ninja” or “PewDiePie.” (If those names don’t mean much to you, ask your children or grandchildren. For a few minutes you’ll be the best person in their world.)
In my personal quiet time recently, I came across Proverbs 22:1 and it grabbed my attention. Solomon presents a choice with unique tension – a good name or great wealth. A lot of us would argue that both would be the logical choice. We’d like to be the famous celebrity who was known as a moral and generous person. Not always, but surely too often the allure of money becomes the gateway for moral collapse.
Think for a moment, “What would I chose – wealth or a great name?” A great name doesn’t keep the heat on or the kids fed. And even so Solomon still deduces that this is the better choice. What are the ingredients in a great name? Integrity is a vital component of a respected person (Proverbs 12:22). Do you strive for integrity? This idea requires us to be above reproach in all our dealings. Not known for shady dealings or questionable actions. Matthew 5:37 gives a profound summary of this.
Loyalty is also a component of a great name. Do others know they can count on you? Even when others are walking away because the issue is too hard or the consequence too great? Many people have a deficient view of loyalty – Peter sure did in Matthew 26:33-35. Before we chastise Peter we need to think through our response. Refresh in God’s unwavering commitment to His children in Romans 8:35-39.
Humility is also a critical ingredient in a good name. Each of us know people who would be less irritating if they could get over their arrogance. Ephesians 4:2 shows why humility is necessary – it gives us the tools to be involved in loving community. A song from the 1980’s suggests “It’s hard to be humble when you’re perfect in every way…” The good news is that we aren’t perfect in every way so humility shouldn’t be difficult for us. Makes sure you choose well.
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