“Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty. (Mal. 3:12)
In a book about my family’s genealogy, a distant relative settled in eastern Tennessee in 1788. On the basis of six weeks’ study of surveying, he was employed to survey the original site for the city of Knoxville. He was later appointed Clerk of the County Court and filled that office for a number of years.
He became an active, influential member of the convention that formed the Tennessee state constitution. He apparently made a fortune in real estate speculations. His contemporaries described him as erect and energetic in his movement. They said he had a systematic, comprehensive, and discriminating mind. He used good judgment and had a refined sense of honor. In addition, he was liberal, kind, and generous. In his retirement, he pursued literary and other congenial pursuits.
When he died, according to the genealogy, “He bequeathed to his descendants an unsullied reputation.”
The Lord knew one of the benefits of Israel’s obedience to his command about tithing would be increased fruitfulness, which would attract the attention of neighboring nations. This would give Israel a favorable reputation among their peers.
Eugene Petersen paraphrased Proverbs 22:1: “A sterling reputation is better than striking it rich; a gracious spirit is better than money in the bank” (The Message).
Mark Twain quipped, “Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.”
Obey the Lord and watch how it enhances your reputation.
Ron McClung is a retired minister in The Wesleyan Church. He and his wife, Carol, live in Michigan and enjoy spending time with their sons, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.