Do you realize how important your name is? Do you realize how important your character is? Do you realize how important having a good name = good reputation + good character?
When people see you what is their first response or reaction? Is it positive or negative? Is it to run to or run away from you? Is it to smile or to frown? Do they give you a warm welcome?
Are you a peacemaker? Are you an encourager? Are you a blessing? Are you sharing hope and love? Are you helper? Are you someone who steps up? Are you someone who helps get it done?
Today’s reading continues in Proverbs on this very topic…
1A good name is to be chosen rather than great wealth, and grace rather than silver or gold. 2Rich and poor have this in common— Adonai is the Maker of them all. 3A crafty person sees danger and hides, but the naïve keep going and suffer for it. 4The reward of humility and fear of Adonai is riches, honor and life. 5Thorns and snares are in the path of the perverse, but one who guards his soul stays far from them. 6Train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not turn from it. 7The rich rule over the poor, the borrower is a slave to the lender. 8One who sows injustice will reap trouble, and the rod of his fury will perish. 9One with a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor. 10Throw out a scoffer and strife will go out, quarreling and disgrace will cease. 11One who loves purity of heart and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend. 12The eyes of Adonai guard knowledge, but He undermines the words of the faithless. 13The slacker says, “There’s a lion outside! I’ll be killed in the streets.” 14The mouth of a seducing woman is a deep pit—into it will fall one with whom Adonai is angry. 15Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but a rod of discipline will drive it far from him. 16The one who oppresses the poor to increase his own gain, and the one who gives to the rich— both end in poverty. 17Incline your ear and listen to the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge. 18For it is delightful if you keep them within you, ready on your lips. 19So that your trust may be in Adonai, I made them known to you this day, even you. 20Have I not written to you thirty sayings of admonition and knowledge, 21to show you true and reliable words, that you may give a true answer to those who sent you? 22Do not rob a poor person because he is poor, nor crush the needy at the gate, 23for Adonai will plead their case, and rob life from those who plunder them. 24Do not be friends with one given to anger or associate with a hot-tempered person, 25lest you learn his ways, and entangle your soul in a snare. 26Do not be one who shakes hands or puts up security for debts. 27If you do not have enough to pay, why should your bed be taken from under you? 28Do not move an ancient boundary stone which your fathers set up. 29Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings. He will not stand before obscure people.
–from Proverbs 22
What do you hunger for? How much is that driving your actions and your decisions? How is that impacting your way of living? How is that impacting your brand image? How is it impacting your life? How is it impacting your family and friends? How is it impacting your workplace and neighborhood and community?
Don’t be greedy! Don’t be selfish! Don’t live in a way that isolates yourself and pushes others away! Share the love of God with the world around you! Consider the benefits of what you are doing or considering doing and what good it will cause or create!
Advice About Appetites
1When you sit down to dine with a ruler, consider carefully what is set before you, 2and put a knife to your throat if you possess a large appetite. 3Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive. 4Do not wear yourself out to get rich. Be wise enough to restrain yourself. 5When you cast your eyes 0n riches, it is gone; for it surely sprouts wings and flies off into the sky like an eagle. 6Do not eat the food of a stingy person, or desire his delicacies. 7For as he thinks within himself, so is he. “Eat and drink”, he says to you, but his heart is not with you. 8You will vomit up the morsel you ate, and will waste your pleasant words. 9Do not speak in the ears of a fool, for he will disdain the wisdom of your words. 10Do not move an ancient boundary stone, or encroach on fields of the fatherless, 11for their redeemer is strong. He will plead their case against you. 12Apply your heart to discipline and your ears to words of knowledge. 13Do not withhold correction from a child. If you strike him with a rod, he will not die. 14Punish him with a rod, and deliver his soul from Sheol.
Wisdom’s Path to the Future
15My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart also will be glad. 16Yes, my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right. 17Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be in the fear of Adonai. 18For surely there is a future, and your hope will never be cut off. 19Listen, my son, and be wise, and guide your heart in the right way. 20Do not join those drinking too much wine or gorging on meat, 21for both drunkards and gluttons will be impoverished— grogginess will clothe them with rags. 22Listen to your father who begot you and do not despise your mother when she is old. 23Acquire truth and do not sell it, acquire wisdom, instruction and understanding. 24The father of a righteous one rejoices greatly. Whoever fathers a wise child delights in him. 25Let your father and your mother be glad, let she who bore you rejoice! 26My son, give your heart to me, and let your eyes observe my ways. 27For a prostitute is a deep pit, an adulterous woman is a narrow pit. 28Indeed, she lies in wait like a robber, and increases the unfaithful among men.
Lingering Long Over Wine
29Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has fights? Who has complaining? Who has bruises for no reason? Who has red eyes? 30Those who linger long over wine, who go looking for mixed wine. 31Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it glides down smoothly. 32In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like a viper. 33Your eyes will see strange things. Your heart will utter perverse things. 34Then you will be like one lying down in the heart of the sea, or sprawled on the top of a mast. 35“They hit me! But I was not hurt. They beat me up! But I did not feel it. When will I wake up? I will look for another drink.”
–from Proverbs 23
Those with integrity walk safely! Where is integrity in your life? What are you doing to make sure that you have integrity? How are you living so that your brand and character are good?
Pledge of Integrity
1A psalm of David. I will sing of lovingkindness and justice. To You, Adonai, I will sing praises. 2I will behave wisely in the way of integrity —when will You come to me? I walk in my house with integrity in my heart. 3No base thing will I set before my eyes. Twisted behavior I hate— it will not cling to me. 4A perverse heart will depart from me. I will know nothing evil. 5Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret —him I will silence. Who has haughty eyes and a proud heart —him I will not tolerate. 6My eyes are on the trustworthy of the land, to be in my company. One walking in a blameless way will serve me. 7No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house. No one who utters lies will endure before my eyes. 8Each morning I silence all the land’s wicked ones— to cut off from Adonai’s city every evildoer.
–from Psalms 101
So will you lead by example? Will you lead with an attitude of humility? Will be a servant leader? Will you lead and look out for the wellbeing of those who are following? Will others see Jesus when they watch and follow after you? Will you make a difference to the world around by setting an example? How will your brand make an impact, make a difference, make a change to the world around you?
Shepherds Lead by Example
1Therefore I appeal to the elders among you—as a fellow elder and witness of Messiah’s sufferings, and a partaker also of the glory about to be revealed— 2shepherd God’s flock among you. Watch over it not under compulsion but willingly before God, not for dishonest gain but eagerly. 3Don’t lord it over those apportioned to you, but become examples to the flock. 4When the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5Likewise, you younger ones, submit yourselves to the elders. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 6Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He may lift you up at the appropriate time. 7Cast all your worries on Him, for He cares for you. 8Stay alert! Watch out! Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, searching for someone to devour. 9Stand up against him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being laid upon your brothers and sisters throughout the world. 10After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace—who has called you into His eternal glory in Messiah—will Himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. 11All power to Him forever! Amen.
12Through Silvanus, whom I consider our faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it! 13Messiah’s community in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings. So does my son Mark. 14Greet one another with a kiss of love. Shalom to you all who are in Messiah. Amen.
–from 1 Peter 5
You have been put in such a place at such a time for a purpose and on purpose! Don’t let fear keep you from doing what is good, what is right, what is just! Let’s live as God is calling us to live! Let’s live as God created and made us to live in order to bring Him the praise, the honor, and the glory! Let’s allow our brand to glorify Him in heaven!
A Dinner Conversation on Shabbat
1Now when Yeshua went into the home of one of the leaders of the Pharisees to eat a meal on Shabbat, they were watching Him closely. 2And there before Him was a man swollen with fluid. 3So Yeshua said to the Torah lawyers and the Pharisees, “Is it permitted to heal on Shabbat, or not?” 4But they kept silent. So Yeshua took hold of him and healed him, and He sent him away. 5Then He said to them, “Which of you, with a son or an ox falling into a well on Yom Shabbat, will not immediately pull him out?” 6And they could not reply to these things. 7Yeshua began telling a parable to those who had been invited, when He noticed how they were choosing the seats of honor. He said to them, 8“When you are invited by someone to a wedding, don’t take the seat of honor, for someone more highly esteemed than you may have been invited by him. 9Then the one who invited both of you will come to you and say, ‘Give up this seat.’ And with shame, you would proceed to take the lowest seat. 10But when you are invited, go and recline in the lowest seat so that when the one who invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you shall be honored in the presence of all those who are dining with you. 11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” 12Then Yeshua was also saying to the one who invited Him, “When you host a luncheon or dinner, don’t invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors. Otherwise they might invite you in return as your payback. 13But when you host a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind; 14and you will be blessed, since they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” 15Now hearing this, one of those dining with Yeshua said to Him, “Blessed is he who eats bread in the kingdom of God.” 16But Yeshua said to him, “A certain man was hosting a large banquet, and he invited many. 17At the time for the banquet, he sent his slave to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, everything is already prepared.’ 18“But every one of them began to beg off. The first said to him, ‘I bought a farm, and I’m obligated to go out to see it. I’m asking you to have me excused.’ 19Then another one said, ‘I’ve purchased five teams of oxen, and I’m going to check them out. I’m asking you to have me excused.’ 20Still another said, ‘I’ve married a wife, so I cannot come.’ 21“The slave came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house got angry and said to his slave, ‘Quickly go out into the squares and alleys of the city and bring here the poor, the maimed, the blind, and the lame.’ 22“And the slave said, ‘Master, I have done as you instructed, and still there is room.’ 23“So the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the thoroughfares and fenced areas, and press them to come in so my home may be filled. 24For I tell you, none of those men who were invited will taste my banquet.’”
Telling Parables Along the Road
25Now great crowds were traveling with Yeshua; and He turned and said to them, 26“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters—and yes, even his own life—he cannot be My disciple. 27Whoever does not carry his own cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple. 28“For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and figure out the cost, to see if he has enough to finish it? 29Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and isn’t able to finish everything, all who see it begin to mock him, 30saying, ‘This man began to build and wasn’t able to finish!’ 31“Or what king, going to make war against another king, won’t first sit down to consider whether he is able with ten thousand to confront the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If not, while the other is still far away, he sends an ambassador and asks for peace. 33So in the same way, whoever does not renounce all that he has, cannot be My disciple. 34“Therefore, salt is good; but if the salt should lose its flavor, how shall it be made salty again? 35It is not suitable for the soil or for a manure heap—it is thrown out. The one who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
–from Luke 14