The Barking Lion
Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
Loving favor rather than silver and gold.
2 The rich and the poor have this in common,
The Lord is the maker of them all.
3 A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself,
But the simple pass on and are punished.
4 By humility and the fear of the Lord
Are riches and honor and life.
5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards his soul will be far from them.
Visitors to a zoo were outraged when what they thought was an “African lion” started barking instead of roaring! Zoo staff had disguised a Tibetan mastiff—a very large dog—as a lion! They did it because they could not afford the real thing. Needless to say, the zoo’s reputation was tarnished and people will think twice before visiting it.
Reputation is fragile; once it’s damaged, it’s hard to restore. It is not uncommon to sacrifice a good reputation on the altar of power, prestige, or profit. This too could be our story. Scripture encourages us: “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches” (Prov. 22:1). God is telling us that true value must be placed not in what we have but in who we are.
Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates said, “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” As followers of Jesus, we bear His name. Because of His love for us, we strive to walk worthy of Him, reflecting His likeness in our words and deeds.
When we fail, He picks us up again by His love. By our example, others around us will be led to praise the God who has redeemed and transformed us (Matt. 5:16)—for the name of the Lord is worthy of glory, honor, and all prais
Yes, we want to worthy of Jesus’ name because God has made us His own. We know that we can’t live perfectly, but we should strive to reflect to others a little of who Jesus is. Today, ask God to reveal Himself through us.
Shakespeare said it best when he said “The purest treasure mortal times afford is a spotless reputation.”
The devotional message The Barking Lion was written by Poh Fang Chia and read from Our Daily Bread, www.odb.org, September 4, 2014.