A Good Name

Proverbs 22:1

A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, favor is better than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1).

When Solomon talked about “a good name,” he was referring to one’s reputation. This word means “a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication…character” (Strong’s). It is that for which a person is known.

What are we known for? How important is it to have “a good name”? Let us consider these questions.
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The Entitlement Mentality

Minimum Wage

Our society has developed what is often called an “entitlement mentality” – particularly among the young, but it is still widespread through all ages. Those with this attitude believe that because they exist, they are entitled to certain things (standard of living, happiness, interpretation of truth, etc.).

The Israelites adopted this mindset while they were in Egypt. Despite their sufferings, they became accustomed to what they enjoyed there. While they were enslaved, they “cried out” to God “for help because of their bondage” (Exodus 2:23). After a series of plagues, God delivered them from bondage (Exodus 13:3). However, even with their newly acquired freedom, they complained about what they lacked:
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Elders in Every Church (Part 2): Character Qualifications for Elders #1

Elders in Every Church (Part 2): Character Qualifications for Elders #1

First, a word about the qualifications in general. Some have attempted to say that the qualifications for elders are not really qualifications, but are only meant to present a general description of those who can serve as elders. This argument is made to defend the appointment of a man who does not fit all of the qualifications. Those who argue this will often say that since the list of qualifications in 1 Timothy 3 does not match the list in Titus 1, then we cannot combine the passages and strictly follow them because Timothy and Titus were able to appoint elders without having the other list.

There are two problems with this argument. First, it assumes that Paul was writing to Timothy and Titus about something he had not discussed with them previously. This cannot be the case. Paul told Titus he was to appoint elders “as I directed you” (Titus 1:5). The things that Paul taught, he taught “everywhere in every church” (1 Corinthians 4:17). Therefore, he had given uniform instructions to both Timothy and Titus about the qualifications for elders. Second, it is difficult to imagine anyone who would qualify using one list but not the other. We must see these qualifications as exactly that – qualifications that must be met for one to serve as an elder.
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Our Entertainment Culture

Darth Vader

Our society is saturated with entertainment in various forms – movies, television, music, internet videos, professional and collegiate sports, etc. Even during a time of economic hardship and uncertainty, Americans are paying billions of dollars a year in movie ticket sales alone. While occasional entertainment may be fine, we need to let our consumption of entertainment be regulated by the Scriptures.

In evaluating our entertainment consumption, we should ask ourselves some basic questions:
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“Easier for a Camel to Go through the Eye of a Needle”

Camel

And Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.’ When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, ‘Then who can be saved?’ And looking at them Jesus said to them, ‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’” (Matthew 19:23-26).

This is one of the difficult statements of Jesus. It almost seems as though He was discouraging a portion of His followers and future followers (the rich) from coming after Him. Yet His statement was not meant to be discouraging, but a warning of the potential danger that riches can be to one’s spiritual well-being.
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“Give Me Neither Poverty Nor Riches”

Homeless

If we were able to make two requests that would help to improve our lives here on the earth, what would those requests be? Agur, the wise man to whom Proverbs 30 is attributed, told us what his two requests were:

Two things I asked of You, do not refuse me before I die: Keep deception and lies far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, that I not be full and deny You and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or that I not be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God” (Proverbs 30:7-9).

The second request – the desire for “neither poverty nor riches” – is what we will focus on in this article.
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Finding Reasons to Praise God in the Midst of an Economic Crisis

Our struggling economy took another hit when the United States’ credit rating was downgraded for the first time in history. This sent the stock market tumbling and made many people even more anxious about the future. Whether this is just a bump in the road or the trigger to the economic downfall of the United States remains to be seen. But even during uncertain times like these, we should be reminded of some important reasons why we ought to praise God.
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