Pillar 3: Reputation
When I was a teenager my father would always say, “Remember, your reputation goes further than you do.” At the time, I didn’t fully understand what he meant and wasn’t interested in figuring it out. However, as an adult, I have not only experienced the truth of those words, but I now regularly repeat them to my children (who tend to have the same response I had).
This is exactly what Solomon wanted us to understand in the Proverbs.
Solomon’s prestigious position gave him a birds-eye view of many things in the kingdom, as well as the region. Undoubtedly, he’d seen his fair share of people ruin their reputation as they grew up. Solomon, however, took a different course during most of his kingship.
Take a look at 1 Kings 4:24-25 and 34.
“Solomon’s dominion extended over all the kingdoms west of the Euphrates River, from Tiphsah to Gaza. And there was peace on all his borders. During the lifetime of Solomon, all of Judah and Israel lived in peace and safety. And from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, each family had its own home and garden…And kings from every nation sent their ambassadors to listen to the wisdom of Solomon.”
Solomon truly built a reputation of peace, safety, and honor during his time as King, and because of this the kingdom flourished. This is why he is the ideal person to deliver wisdom on the topic of reputation. Let’s take a look at what he says:
Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold (Proverbs 22:1).
Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech will have the king as a friend (Proverbs 22:11).
We have happy memories of the godly, but the name of a wicked person rots away (Proverbs 10:7).
Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right (Proverbs 20:11).
A person who plans evil will get a reputation as a troublemaker (Proverbs 24:8).
The lessons we learn from the book of Proverbs about reputation should lead us to consider how the things we say and do will impact our lives and our godly witness. Let us learn from Proverbs how to build a reputation of honor, integrity, and Christ-like character that blesses our children and our children’s children.
Pause and Ponder: How is your reputation honoring God?