A good name is more desirable than great riches;
to be esteemed 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).
The fool says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their ways are vile;
there is no one who does good.
2 God looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
3 Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.
4 Do all these evildoers know nothing?
They devour my people as though eating bread;
they never call on God.
5 But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
where there was nothing to dread.
God scattered the bones of those who attacked you;
you put them to shame, for God despised them.
6 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When God restores his people,
let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!