A man knew he had to salvage his reputation when his dog showed up on his doorstep with the neighbor’s dead cat in its mouth. So he did what any self-respecting man in his shoes would have done—he washed the dead cat off, blow-dried its fur, and set it at his neighbor’s front door.

The next day, the man casually asked his neighbor how his cat was doing. “Oh, it died a few days ago, but you won’t believe what happened: a couple days after we buried it in our backyard, someone dug it out, cleaned it up, and left it on our doorstep.”

At that point, the man could no longer save face. In his effort to protect his good name, he had tarnished it.

How much is your name worth to you—$5, $50, or $500,000? The Word of God puts a premium on it. Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.”

There are benefits to having a good name. It provides protection when others attempt to slander us and malign our character. It causes others to take our words at face value. Also, it is like a buffer that makes people think twice before believing every negative thing they hear about us. (Of course, we ought primarily to pursue a good name in God’s eyes. What others think is inconsequential.) A good name also brings God’s blessings. That’s a good reason to protect it at all costs.

Here are a couple ways you can preserve your good name, or build a good name for yourself if you don’t have one:

  1. Ask yourself how your actions will affect your reputation.
  2. Ask yourself how being seen in a given setting will affect your reputation.

God does care if you have a good name. It will profit you no matter what your age, occupation, or sphere of influence. Strive to maintain yours today.

You don’t have to floss your teeth . . . if you don’t want to keep them. — Sign outside a dentist’s office

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.