When I was growing up, my first hero was Davy Crockett. I couldn’t wait to get to the television set on Sunday night to tune into Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color when Fess Parker was starring as Davy. In one episode, I remember a scene where a Native American did a deal with Davy that he wouldn’t do with anyone else because, as he said, “Davy Crockett don’t lie.”
Of course, that was TV. I have no idea whether Davy ever lied in real life. I hope he didn’t because I like to believe my hero was a man of integrity. His word was his bond. When he held out his hand and shook on something, you knew you could trust him.
Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver or gold.” As far as I was concerned, Davy had the best name around, and I wanted to be just like him.
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God puts a high priority on integrity. Although most people probably equate it with honesty, it’s really more than that. Integrity involves being upright, honest, and faithful in everything you do—in the way you live, the way you are with your family and friends, the way you run your business. It crosses the entire spectrum of one’s life.
As Christians, having a “good name” also means people can see Christ in us and that we’re always looking for the best way to bring glory to God.
Scripture says your good name is better than all the money in the world. I’ve heard it said many times that you can’t take your money with you when you die. But, as a pastor friend of mine used to say, you do take one thing with you: your reputation.
The patriarch Joseph had a good name. His brothers sold him into slavery because they were jealous of him. He ended up in Egypt as a servant to Pharaoh’s officer Potiphar, who “left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate” (Gen. 39:6).
Joseph had such a good reputation that Potiphar put him in control of everything, including all his money. Because he was a man of integrity and the Lord was blessing him, Joseph consistently rejected the advances of Potiphar’s wife, who felt spurned and falsely accused him of rape. So Joseph was thrown into prison, and ended up in charge of everything in the prison because he could be trusted. Eventually, he ended up in charge of all of Egypt (41:40).
Joseph brought integrity to the table, which is why God was able to use him so mightily. That is the type of good name we need to strive for today. As Christians, we should be people whose integrity is impeccable, and no one will ever question that we can be trusted or that we belong to God.