Daily Proverb - Proverb 22:1
A good name is to be chosen over great wealth; favor is better than silver and gold. Proverb 22:1
Success in western culture is often measured monetarily, although in recent years I have seen a growing emphasis on seeing people as people, not as what they do or possess. Sadly, many people base decisions mainly on the bottom line, how much will be gained by majoring in one field over another? Which position pays more?
I've experienced backstabbing in the corporate world when a colleague (who had confided in me secrets that could cause life altering consequences, and I kept the confidence) betrayed me and presented facts in a twisted light for their own personal gain. He chose a chance for promotion (a lot of people had wanted my position - I had freedom, traveled, got paid to attend PR functions, and made decent money) over loyalty, not caring how I remembered their name. He did not get my job. Another example is choosing the "wealth of pleasure" - my ex-husband chose fleeting pleasures over a committment to me, and became known as a cheater in the small community we had lived. I, on the other hand, after divorcing, chose a shot at validation and feeling loved through an affair with a friend's ex. Should've known better. We've all made decisions we wish we could reverse. I have apologized and sought restitution in past relationships where I know I made wrong and hurtful choices, and have since endeavored to let every decision be rooted in love and truth. (I also changed from whom I sought counsel, as a mutual friend had encouraged the relationship!)
However, the decisions I've made to be honorable have never left the bitter aftertaste of remorse. A simple example is that my daughter and I were at a store "price-matching" an ad for boxed ice cream treats. The store we shopped had two sizes of the ice cream bars - 8 bar and 4 bar. I remembered the box being larger than the four bar box, so my daughter selected one 8-bar variety and I selected another. (It was a 2 for 1 deal). As we place the packages in the cart, I distinctly remembered when I first saw the advertised sale, I would need two boxes because one box was just shy a bar to serve my family of seven. This meant the store I was shopping did not have the exact match - name brand, size, etc. So, I instructed my daughter to get hers out of the cart, explaining why.
I think a valuable lesson of honesty was taught to my daughter that day. Some people may not think it would have been "wrong" to try to manipulate the store policy. But, in my heart, I knew it was not truth. I did not want my daughter to remember her Mom as choosing a $5 savings over truth. I don't want her to ever think of me as choosing money over integrity. My reputation with her - and others - means more. And, quite frankly, even if I had done it and gotten away with it without her knowledge, I care what the Creator of Heavens and earth thinks, and I care what I think about myself. I want to be known as honest, with pure motives. Now, if others mis-read my intentions, I can rest knowing the truth. Money cannot buy that kind of peace.
Have you ever compromised your name or reputation in hopes of justifying the means with a desired end? Are you facing a decision currently? I encourage you to choose the high road, even though it may prove difficult, you won't regret choosing integrity.
The wealthiest man who ever lived wrote the proverbs. He must've known something! Although the Bible was written millenia ago, its contents actually are applicable and beneficial today. When eternal principals and laws (not talking about the ten commandments when I write "law" here. I am referencing governing systems that are alive, whether we know it or not! I believe Solomon understood these "laws".) are honored, your life will benefit, even if you don't adhere to the Judaeo-Christian beliefs contained in the rest of the Bible.
Creator of Heaven, and Lover of my Soul,
I desire to choose a good name above the riches of the world. I know this does not mean you don't want me to live a comfortable life, but that when it comes down to deciding between compromising my integrity or having earthly gain, I would choose honesty - even if that means paying higher taxes!
Expose in me any areas where truth is not my balance. Give me the strength to trust You, that as I honor the eternal law of truth, You will honor me.
In Jesus' name,
Unless otherwise noted, all scripture is from the Holman Christian Study Bible; all Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic references are from Strong's Concordance; all English definitions and word roots are according to Merriam-Webster.
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