Proverbs 22:1 (NRSV)
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.
This verse is about what we choose. The wisdom of Proverbs teaches us that a good name and reputation is to be chosen rather than riches. But this note at the end is interesting. Favor is better than silver and gold. Favor is what God bestows upon the chosen. Far too often prosperity gospel profiteers say favor leads to silver and gold. That is not necessarily the case.
Favor is so much greater than anything the world can supply. You can be of meager means but have a reputation and character that is impeccable and highly esteemed. Riches do not lead to good character. In fact according to Jesus riches make it much harder for you to have good character (the camel and the needle’s eye).
This is not to say we cannot be wealthy or that all wealthy people lack good character. It is to say that riches, favor, and character are not synonymous. When we seek the kingdom first, we seek being like Jesus. Then all these things can follow. Being chosen means choosing right over wrong even when it may cost us.
Lord give me a good name. Give me character and a good reputation. Lead me towards your favor so I may be used by you. In Jesus Name.
Questions for Meditation
Do you know anyone with riches but without a good reputation?
Do you know anyone without riches but with good character?
Which one do you think is more valuable and why?
Now pray God would give you favor!