A Good Name
“A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” - Proverbs 22:1, NIV
I am currently venturing through Embraced, a devotional by the anointed and extremely-gifted writer, Lysa TerKeurst. It has been both timely and vital for my spiritual growth during this current season. And I am beyond grateful for my friend, Michelle, who sent it to me…little did she know that God was using her to not only bless me but to also teach me so much.
So earlier today, as I found some quiet time (hallelujah for a mom of three littles) to sit, read, and write out a few thoughts and silent prayers, Lysa led me through Proverbs 22:1. And for the first time in a long time, I sat in a deep, frozen spiritual rest. It was a beautifully-intimate moment with God—a moment that will remain with me for a long time. And then I did the only thing I knew how to do, write. I wrote out every thought, realization, and emotion.
Now, here we are.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
So what is this verse saying exactly? To be simply put, King Solomon (the author of Proverbs), is saying that having a good reputation, to be held in great respect and admiration is far greater than money. Now I don’t know about you, but when I think about the people who have come in and out of my life, a list of adjectives pop up for each and every one of them. Would I describe them as kind, humble, patient, genuine or selfish, rude, bitter, or jealous? I never think of their title, wealth, fame, or fortune. But I can promise you that I never forget how each person made me feel.
Now, let’s look at the definition of esteemed. From Marriam-Webster, esteemed means having a good reputation especially in a field of knowledge. From Dictionary.com, esteemed means to regard highly or favorably; regard with respect or admiration.
So not only is King Solomon saying that it’s better to have a good name rather than riches, but also having a good reputation specifically regarding a certain field or fields of knowledge and to be highly favorable is far better. I don’t know about you, but 10/10 times I will choose the esteemed doctor with a quaint office versus a two or three star doctor with all the gadgets and artwork money could buy.
“HAVING A GOOD NAME IS FAR GREATER THAN RICHES + FAME.”
My aim in any relationship or at any job is to never give the other person a reason to say anything other than good things about me. Constructive criticism is a given; but in the end, that person or boss is only left with favorable language about the person I am—my heart and character.
What is your name? What are some adjectives that the people in and out your life would use to describe you? Would you say that you are highly favorable? That you are respected and admired?
I posit these questions because they are questions we should be asking ourselves on a daily basis. I know I try to. I want every person who knows me to be better for it. That may be the classic Enneagram Type 2w3 in me, but it is also quite literally what my name means.
The name Erica means honorable ruler and woman of esteem. I truly believe that God told my parents what to name me. He told them they were getting a crazy little helper and goal getter, and I am awestruck as I put it all together. Quite literally, I was given a good name. Am I living up to it?
I MIGHT NOT BE RICH…
I sure hope I am living up to that name, because while I might not be loaded, I desire nothing more than to be a woman of esteem. That is my heart and my forever mission. I am not perfect, far from it, but I know what God and others say about me.
May I be known for how I love and respect my husband rather than how I degrade and put him down. May I be known for how I raise and treasure my children rather than miss every chance to be present and watch them grow. May I be known for encouraging and lifting up my friends rather than making them my competition. May I be known for the quality of my work rather than the quantity or unhealthy hustle that could easily entrap me. And may I ultimately be known for loving others like Jesus rather than being a legalistic hypocrite.
These are just some things God showed me today, along with answering a prayer and question I have had for quite some time… why hasn’t this happened yet, God? Such a small yet fully loaded question. And you know what He ever-so-gently replied?
Patience, Erica. Let the world know you for your name rather than your wealth and success. Doors are about to open. Stay humble. Keep the faith. It takes endurance and a steady stride. It takes losing some people and gaining even better ones. It takes blood, sweat, and tears. It takes suffering, and that suffering is a gift, my daughter. Be My reflection and watch your light shine. I have a plan for you and I love you more than anything.
FRIENDS. If you aren’t weeping like I am right now, I want you to take those very words and say them OUT LOUD with YOUR name in it.
Because God wants you to know and believe them about yourself, too. He loves you more than anything. Trust His timing for your life and let Him give you a good name.