Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 26, 2020
A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold. Proverbs 22:1, NASB
A friend struggled recently with the idea of backdating a financial transaction so he could avoid tens of thousands of tax dollars that he could use for charitable purposes. As he explained to me his plan in conversation over the phone, his spirit within reminded him of his inconsistent behavior. He wanted permission from me, but the Spirit was calling him to submission. With a heart to be more generous, he wondered if it was ok to be a little bit dishonest now in order to be a lot more generous later. Sounds reasonable, right? We went on to discuss how much is a good name worth?
King Solomon knew about great wealth, great favor and great integrity. This influential leader weighed the value of wealth, favor and integrity—concluding that the integrity of a good name and favor with God and man were more valuable than money and riches. If the choice for me is to put my good name at risk to gain more wealth, if I’m wise—I will cherish my good name. Love for the Lord and faithfulness to the Lord are able to wait for another day—for Him to provide a better way. Faithfulness today leads to favor tomorrow. Wisdom chooses the longview of love.
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man” (Proverbs 3:3-4).
The desire to love what God loves sees beyond a short term character compromise for cash and embraces the longview of a clear conscience compliant with Christ’s expectations. My friend who I mentioned at the outset, said in conclusion to our conversation, that a good name was priceless. He confessed he knew in his heart what he needed to do, but he just needed someone he trusted and respected to give him permission to do the right thing and question the wrong thing. That’s what love does. Love elevates what’s important to our Creator, and trusts He knows what’s best.
When I say out loud to trusted friends what I self-justify in my mind, I see more clearly what God’s best is for me. Dishonesty wrapped in distorted desires is exposed when I try to explain it to a wise person of integrity. Just listening to myself trying to convince myself is a huge indicator that I am conspiring against the Trinity’s deeper work of love in my spirit. Gratefully, the longer view of love is stronger than any short term flashes of contrived efforts to circumvent God’s will. To desire a good name is to call on the name of the Lord in loving worship and humble dependence. The longview of love does not linger with the trinkets of distrust, but abides in love.
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over” (Proverbs 3:5-10, MSG).
Heavenly Father, give me the longview of your love, so I might walk with you today in integrity, in Jesus’ name, amen.
What opportunity or person do I need to say no to today and trust God will provide a better way one day?
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