Why you should care what other people think
Read: Proverbs 22
Everyone is born with a boatload of foolishness (Proverbs 22:15). Our natural tendency is
to choose poorly and experience bad consequences. What toddler doesn't think it's great
fun to stick a wet finger in an electrical outlet?
One thing a foolish person doesn't care about is his reputation. The screaming, crying 2-
year-old being dragged out of the mall couldn't care less about how he looks. But God tells
us that a good reputation is more valuable than riches (Proverbs 22:1). When all we want is
wealth, we’ll waste anything to get it. When we guard a good name, we guard every area of
For example, people who value their reputations make wise financial decisions. They
understand the pitfalls of borrowing money and co-signing for loans, the blessings of
generosity, and the stupidity of taking advantage of the poor. They know it's easy to find
excuses not to work, but hard workers are extraordinary and find themselves in
extraordinary places (Proverbs 22:13 and Proverbs 22:29).
People who value their reputations guard their social lives. They won't cozy up to risky
situations, immoral behavior, or hot-tempered people because they know entanglements
there lead to disaster (Proverbs 22:3-8, Proverbs 22:14, Proverbs 22:24-25).
People who value their reputations guard what goes into their heads and comes out of their
mouths so they are prepared to apply knowledge to a problem and speak words of wisdom
when questioned (Proverbs 22:11-12, Proverbs 22:17-20).
People who value their reputations also value the reputations of their children and teach
them to make wise choices (Proverbs 22:6, Proverbs 22:15).
And most importantly, when God’s people value their reputations they do so to bring glory
to His name, not their own (Proverbs 22:4). Since foolishness doesn't disappear with age,
the remedy is to learn the wisdom of God and then discipline ourselves to obey His
instructions. The book of Proverbs is a great place to start.
It's never too late to act in wisdom in any area of your life. Choose a topic from this
chapter (e.g. friends, finances, generosity, hard work) and ask the Lord how your choices
can better reflect His wisdom in that area.
What is one thing you can change that will improve your reputation?
Proverbs: A 31-Day Devotional
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