Photo of an open Bible resting on a wooden table, with a soft beam of sunlight illuminating the verse: "A good name is more desirable than great riches" (Proverbs 22:1).

What Does The Bible Say About Having A Good Name?

Having a good name and reputation is something that most people strive for in life. In today’s world, your name and reputation often go hand-in-hand with your success and ability to build relationships.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The Bible has a lot to say about the importance of having a good name and reputation. Scriptures emphasize living with integrity and honesty, handling money wisely, being slow to anger, and pursuing righteousness.

Building a good name comes through godly living and turning away from sin.

The Value of a Good Name

A good name is better than fine perfume (Ecclesiastes 7:1)

Having a respectable reputation and good name is viewed in the Bible as more valuable than material pleasures and possessions (Ecclesiastes 7:1). Just as pleasant fragrances bring joy, a good name spreads a positive influence wherever a person goes.

It builds trust and opens doors for meaningful relationships and opportunities.

Research shows that people associate trust and competence with individuals who have good names. For example, a 2022 survey found that 93% of hiring managers said a solid reputation plays a major role in their hiring decisions.

This illustrates how pivotal guarding one’s good name is in living a fruitful life.

A good name is to be chosen over great riches (Proverbs 22:1)

The book of Proverbs frequently warns that chasing after money and possessions leads to emptiness and problems (Ecclesiastes 5:10). It encourages finding satisfaction in meaningful relationships, integrity, and living wisely by God’s principles.

A good name stems from consistently ethical actions over time. It offers access to the most valuable aspects of life – strong connections, positive influence, and purpose. Thus, the Bible teaches that a trustworthy name should be treasured even more than financial gain.

Having a good reputation Pursuing money/possessions
Builds strong relationships Can damage relationships
Lasts for generations Is temporary

Having a good reputation shows you are living wisely (Proverbs 13:15)

The book of Proverbs contains extensive practical advice for pursuing wisdom, righteousness, justice and leading a moral life. Having a respectable reputation is presented as a natural byproduct and evidence of living according to biblical values.

On the other hand, those who compromise their integrity for temporary gain or convenience inevitably “lose favor” over time as their true character is revealed (Proverbs 13:15). A good name requires continually walking in truth, honesty and consideration of others.

Websites with more wisdom about guarding one’s reputation and living righteously include BibleStudyTools, GotQuestions, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

How to Build a Good Name

Conduct yourself with wisdom and integrity (Proverbs 8:6-8)

Building a good name starts with living a life of wisdom and integrity. As Proverbs 8:6-8 says, “Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness.

All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse.” This means being honest and truthful in all your dealings, avoiding gossip and slander, and steering clear of harmful speech. Speak life-giving words that build others up.

Make decisions guided by righteousness, justice, and fairness. Have the courage to do what is right, even when it is difficult. Your solid character and moral fiber will become known, earning you respect and establishing your good name.

Be trustworthy and honest in all your dealings (Proverbs 10:9)

A good name is built on trustworthiness and honesty. Proverbs 10:9 observes that “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.” Be scrupulously honest in business agreements, paying your debts and fulfilling your obligations.

Admit your mistakes instead of covering them up. Follow through on your commitments and do what you say you will do. Avoid exaggerations or stretching the truth. When you deal honorably with people, your reputation for reliability and genuineness will spread.

You’ll be known as someone who can be counted on to do the right thing.

Use money wisely and avoid going into debt (Proverbs 22:7)

Handling money prudently is another way to have a good name. Proverbs 22:7 warns that “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” Avoid getting into debt whenever possible. Live within your means. Save for the future and invest wisely. Be generous with those in need.

Seek contentment rather than pursuing materialism. When you use money as a tool and not as your master, you build financial stability and the freedom to be generous on your terms. Your prudent stewardship will gain the respect of others.

Be quick to listen and slow to anger (James 1:19)

A good name comes from being quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, as James 1:19 counsels. Listen carefully to understand others rather than simply waiting for your turn to talk. Get the facts before forming opinions. Be patient and avoid knee-jerk reactions.

Refrain from insults, hurtful words, and flying off the handle when provoked. Instead, respond calmly and thoughtfully. Your self-control, tact, and respect for others will cause them to think highly of you.

As Proverbs 16:32 observes, “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.”

Actions That Tarnish Your Name

Lying, dishonesty, and bearing false witness (Proverbs 6:16-19)

Being truthful and honest is vital to having a good name. As Proverbs 6:16-19 states, God hates “a lying tongue” and “a false witness who speaks lies.” When we lie or are dishonest, we damage our reputation and lose people’s trust.

Though lying may seem convenient in the moment, it often leads to bigger complications down the road. As the old adage goes, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” Instead of lying, we must commit to being truthful in all that we say and do.

Some practical ways to build a reputation for honesty include:

  • Admitting when you’re wrong or made a mistake.
  • Giving others the full story, not just selective facts.
  • Keeping your promises and commitments.
  • Refusing to gossip or spread rumors.

Though speaking truthfully in love can be difficult at times (Ephesians 4:15), it is always the wisest choice for safeguarding your good name.

Quick temper, strife, and pride (Proverbs 13:10)

Having a hot temper and stirring up quarrels is another sure way to tarnish your reputation. As Proverbs 13:10 warns, “Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” Anger often flares up when our pride is at stake.

We don’t like being corrected, contradicted, criticized, or inconvenienced. But reacting in rage or bickering with others destroys our witness and usually makes matters worse.

Proverbs includes many exhortations to control our anger and avoid unnecessary conflicts, such as:

  • “A quick-tempered person does foolish things, and the one who devises evil schemes is hated.” (Proverbs 14:17)
  • “A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” (Proverbs 15:18)
  • “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.” (Proverbs 29:11)

Being slow to anger, seeking peace, and taming our pride requires God’s wisdom and the help of the Holy Spirit. But it is essential for maintaining a good reputation.

Sexual immorality (Proverbs 6:32-33)

Sexual sin is one of the most damaging forces that can ruin a person’s name and standing. Proverbs 6:32-33 warns us sternly, “But a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself. Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away.”

The pleasures of sexual immorality are fleeting, but the shame and consequences last a lifetime. In today’s world of social media and viral stories, a moral failing can quickly spread worldwide and leave a permanent stain.

Benefits of Sexual Purity Consequences of Sexual Immorality
  • Clear conscience before God
  • Better intimacy in marriage
  • Avoid STDs
  • Self-control and discipline
  • Guilt, shame
  • Broken trust
  • Disease
  • Loss of self-respect

God’s design for sexuality is beautiful and brings protection when followed. According to studies, saving sex for marriage results in greater marital stability and satisfaction later in life (source). Therefore, sexual purity is wise and “honorable” (Hebrews 13:4), preserving your good name in the process.

Laziness and lack of self-control (Proverbs 10:4-5)

Laziness, sloppiness and lack of discipline all diminish a person’s reputation over time. As Proverbs 10:4-5 makes clear, “Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth. He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.”

When we are unreliable, procrastinate, or lack diligence, we let down others counting on us. Our work suffers and we become known as someone who fails to follow through.

On the other hand, self-control, moderation and industriousness earn respect and bring prosperity. As Proverbs 22:29 states, “Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.”

When we develop strong work ethic and self-discipline, we build credibility and become known for excellence. Our choices today shape our reputation tomorrow.

Pursuing Righteousness to Build a Good Name

Do what is right and just (Jeremiah 22:3)

The Bible emphasizes the importance of doing what is morally right and adhering to justice in God’s eyes. As Jeremiah 22:3 states, “Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed.”

By pursuing righteousness in our actions and conduct, we build integrity and a reputation founded on ethical behavior that glorifies God.

Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31)

Showing selfless love and care for others demonstrates the nature of Christ working through us. Mark 12:31 commands us to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” As we build relationships, meet needs, and serve our communities, our good name spreads by word of mouth.

Studies show volunteering leads to greater life satisfaction[1]. Loving others attracts people to our light and gives credibility to our witness for Christ.

Be merciful and compassionate to others (Colossians 3:12)

Displaying mercy and compassion for those in need or who have failed models the grace we’ve received from God. As Colossians 3:12 encourages, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

By giving second chances and meeting needs without judgement, others recognize Christ living within us. Showing mercy builds influence and a good name as a person who brings hope.

Set an example by your actions and conduct (1 Timothy 4:12)

Our day-to-day lifestyle and interactions should reflect our Christian faith. Paul exhorted Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

When we honor God in how we carry ourselves, speak to others, show love, live by faith and moral purity, it shows maturity beyond our years. Our Christ-centered actions give credibility to the Gospel we share.


In summary, the Bible has much to say about the importance and value of having a good name. Your reputation is built through living wisely and righteously, being trustworthy and honest, using money responsibly, and pursuing justice and compassion.

While a good name can be tarnished by sinful actions like lying, anger, laziness, and sexual immorality, it is never too late to start living in a way that honors God and blesses others. This is how you build a reputation worth more than riches.

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