Proverbs 22:1 A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
A story about the importance of keeping your good name.
I have two sisters. One is ten, the other is eleven. I was born five years before they came along. My friends don’t pay much attention to my sisters. They call them ‘the kids’, but I have had to look after them quite a lot when they were young and I want to make sure they are OK when they become teenagers. Things can go wrong when you leave primary school and start your secondary education in a huge school with one or even two thousand pupils.
My younger sister Megan is the one I worry about the most. She is always trying to look older and be older than she really is. Tash, the other one is content to be her age.
Megan likes to hang around with the lads up at the park. Some of them are OK – most of them are really, but one or two I wouldn’t trust for a minute. They are always boasting about what they have done or what they are going to do, and it’s all lies. Megan comes home and tells us all about it. My mum gets cross and tells me I should be looking out for my sister. Well, I can’t be there all the time, can I? The park is just next door and Mum doesn’t really want to stop Megan from going out. She tries to get Tash to keep Megan company, and Tash does go out too, but not so much. She likes reading and doing her Karaoke at home. She says she doesn’t like the park gang and she thinks they are stupid.
“I don’t want everyone to think I’m like one of them, ’cos I’m not. I don’t go bragging about stupid things and smoking and drinking fizz and saying it’s alcohol.”
“They aren’t all like that,” said Megan, “Only Nico, you know, Nicotine Nigel, he’s the only one.”
“Well maybe so, but the others just hang around and gossip about each other. I don’t want to do that. Before you know it they’ll be gossiping about you.” said Tash.
“No they won’t. Why should they? I haven’t done anything.”
“ Maybe not, but people who gossip often make up stories about others if they have nothing better to do.”
“Well no one would believe them. They can’t just lie about someone, Well , except for Nico, he’d lie about anyone.” said Megan.
“What about your friend Simon? I hear he stole some sweets from the supermarket!”
Megan went white, then red. She didn’t know what to say. She liked Simon and she trusted him. Now here was Tash telling her that Simon was a thief, and she believed her sister.
“Don’t worry, Meg, I just made that up to see what you would think. You believed me didn’t you?”
“Well, you don’t tell lies, that’s why I believed you. You shouldn’t say that about Simon, it’s not true.”
“That’s right, said Tash,” I’m just showing you what some people are like when they gossip. They make up stories about people that others might believe, then Simon, or someone like him gets a bad name.”
“Oh, that’s not fair is it? I wouldn’t do that!”
“Well just be careful who you hang about with or you might get a bad name too, and you wouldn’t want that would you?
What does ‘having a good name’ mean to you?
What does ‘having a bad name’ mean to you?
What might happen if someone had a bad name?
How can you keep your good name?
Does the story remind you of anything in your life?