Proverbs 22:1

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,

    and favor is better than silver or gold.

Proverbs 22:1 ESV

This verse challenges our cultural norms. A culture that is given to riches (a materialism) has a difficult time grasping the idea that something immaterial, like a good name, is more valuable. Unless that good name can create some material benefit, i.e., more riches.

Here, the reader stands at a crossroad, examining two worldviews; one says materialism is most important (e.g., “He who dies with the most toys wins.”), and the other says immaterial things like character and integrity and holiness and love are most important. This junction seems to be ever-present in Proverbs. For example,

Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity,

than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.

Proverbs 28:6 ESV

Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth,

or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

Proverbs 22:6

Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity

than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.

Proverbs 19:1 ESV

Each of us must choose this day, and every day, which path we will travel. Proverbs offers a clear picture of what lies at the end of each path. So, … which path will you choose today?

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