Yesterday was my dad’s 57th birthday. While there’s so much to honor about him, the one verse that really springs to mind is Proverbs 22:1:
A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
I’m thankful for a dad with a good name. Every where I go, I meet people who will be kind, favorable, and open to me because of how my dad has lived his life. That is one of the best gifts I’ve ever received: to know that my father is a respectable man and that he has nothing to hide or be ashamed of.
I’ve seen him choose:
- honoring God over a quick path to success,
- integrity over financial gain,
- admitting his failures over protecting his reputation,
- and valuing relationships over personal ascendancy.
Financially, the family has had its ups and downs. We never went hungry, and he worked hard to provide for us and give our family an excellent life. But there were some very tight years as well. And we never got everything we asked for. (Thankfully. I asked for some really dumb and selfish things.)
But now, I would never trade any material benefit for the huge blessing, gift, and legacy that is his (and my mom’s) name. It’s an asset that keeps accumulating value. It’s currency that’s applicable everywhere. It’s a treasure that can never be taken from us (unless we lose it ourselves).
This gives me hope and I hope it gives you hope as well. We all have loved ones that we want to help and serve. And material gifts are definitely valuable.
But don’t be fooled in trading something that’s mostly valuable – finances and material things – for something that’s always valuable – a good name.
The best blessing you can leave to your loved ones is the legacy of the life you’ve lived. And you can leave that gift regardless of your station in life.
Even now as I watch Philip grow, I dream of buying him toys, sending him to great schools, letting him travel, and allowing him to experience different things.
But I have to remind myself that there’s one gift I can give no matter what situation. I can add to this asset my parents have left me – the gift of a good name.
If you’d like, please join me in asking God for His grace in this area:
Dear Lord, thank You for Your Word which is so rich in meaning. We put our trust in You, acknowledging that you are the most valuable treasure. And as we put our faith and trust in You, we know that you will give us a good name. (Proverbs 3:3-6)
Please take away the shame we may have over things we’ve done. Thank you that they are covered by the blood of Jesus. And we ask you for the ability to live in such a way that we leave a legacy for those who come after us. Thank you, Lord. Amen.