Introduction: What does it mean to have a “good name?” We had some
visitors in our class last week. Their last name was “Carrington.”
Some would say that is a good name. When I was growing up, the people
who owned the garbage service had the last name “Smelling.” Some
might prefer “Carrington.” Let’s jump in and find out what the Bible
means when it refers to a “good name!”

  1. A Good Name

    1. Read Proverbs 22:1. Does this verse give us two different
      ideas, or does it repeat the same idea in a slightly
      different way? (It repeats the same idea. Our lesson
      points out (Tuesday) this is called “parallelism” in
      Hebrew poetry.)

      1. If these are parallel ideas, what is meant by a “good
        name” according to Solomon? (Since this text repeats
        the idea, a good name is the same as being

    2. Do you want to be esteemed? In case others fail to esteem
      you, should you do it yourself? (We will look at that
      later in our lesson!)

  2. God’s Good Name

    1. Is God concerned about His name? (Read Exodus 20:7.)

      1. Can you give me examples of how someone could misuse
        God’s name?

      2. Read Proverbs 30:5-6. Have you ever heard someone add
        to God’s words? Is that a misuse of His name? (Yes!
        We proclaim our ideas as “truth” in God’s name. I
        think music is an excellent example of this. Some
        churches are torn apart by disagreement over the type
        of music or type of instruments used in worship – a
        topic on which the Bible is virtually silent.)

        1. Should we boldly proclaim that those who go
          beyond the Bible and create requirements in
          disputable areas are sinners? (Look again at
          Proverbs 30:6. The text says God will do the

      3. Read Proverbs 14:31. How else can we misuse God’s

        1. What does it mean to be “kind” to the needy?
          (Read Leviticus 19:9-10. Here God commands us to
          help the poor help themselves. Even in our
          charity we need to be proper representatives of
          God so we do not further sin. See 1 Timothy 5:9-13.)

  3. Pride and Our Good Name

    1. We hear a lot from our culture about the need for self-esteem. On the other hand, the Bible speaks strongly
      against pride. Is self-esteem good or is it just pride?

    2. Can you think of any Bible texts that encourage self-esteem? Let’s look at one I think speaks to self-esteem.
      Read Luke 12:6-9. Does God tell us that we have self-worth?

      1. Is self-worth the same as self-esteem?

      2. On what does our self-worth depend? (Our relationship
        to God.)

    3. Read Proverbs 11:2. Why does disgrace follow pride? Why
      do you think wisdom arises out of humility?

      1. How would you go about summarizing the message that
        arises out of Luke 12:7 and Proverbs 11:2? Or, do you
        find that impossible?

    4. Read Proverbs 15:25. This makes God the active agent in
      attacking the proud. Why would God do that?

      1. What do you think is God’s opinion of pride? (Read
        Proverbs 6:16-19. What are “haughty eyes?” (Pride –
        and letting your pride be known. God detests pride.)

      2. As you think about the stories recorded in the Bible,
        how serious a sin is pride? Can you give
        examples?(Read Ezekiel 28:14-17. To whom does this
        text refer? (This is commonly understood to refer to
        Lucifer – Satan.)

        1. What part did pride play in his original sin?

      3. Read Genesis 3:2-6. What part did pride play in the
        fall of man?

    5. Read Proverbs 13:10. What part does pride play in an
      unhappy marriage? Unhappy working conditions?

      1. Is your opinion better or worse than others? What
        does the Bible suggest on this?

    6. It is common in business to believe that if you do not
      explain your accomplishments, no one else will. Is
      “tooting your own horn” appropriate? (Read Proverbs 27:2.)

      1. What do you think is the basis for this advice?

    7. Is pride an easy sin to recognize? We have learned that
      pride is detestable to God. Is pride also detestable to
      man so that those who are proud naturally feel sorry for
      their sins? (Read Proverbs 26:12. “He who falls into some
      of the grosser sins may feel a sense of shame and poverty
      and his need of the grace of Christ; but pride feels no
      need, and so it closes the heart against Christ and the
      blessings He came to give. E.G. White, Steps to Christ,

    8. How can pride interfere with you having a good name?

    9. How can we understand our self-worth in God’s eyes without
      slipping into pride?

  4. Pride and Life

    1. Read Proverbs 18:10-11. We have a contrast between two
      places of protection. What is the difference between the
      “strong tower” and the “fortified city.”

      1. Is Solomon saying that money will not protect? (Money
        does protect – it is not, however, perfect
        protection, an “unscalable wall.”)

      2. What constitutes perfect protection? (The name of the

        1. Why does the verse say “the name of the Lord”
          rather than just “the Lord?” (I think this
          refers to God’s nature.)

    2. Let’s continue by reading Proverbs 18:12. Does verse 12
      relate to verses 10-11? (I think so. If you run to the
      name of the Lord (v.10), then you run to the nature of
      God. Someone who turns to God is not showing a proud and
      arrogant attitude. On the other hand, if you turn to your
      wealth for protection (v.11), that encourages a proud

      1. Why does humility come before honor?

      2. Would you like to be honored? If so, to whom should
        you turn?

      3. Why do you think pride leads to a downfall?

        1. Let’s read Proverbs 21:4. What does it mean when
          it says pride is the “lamp” of the wicked? (A
          lamp is how you see life. How you decide what to
          do. ( Psalms 119:105 says that for the righteous,
          God’s word is a lamp to the feet and a light for
          our path.) Thus, the proud person makes
          decisions based on what will lift him up over

          1. Is this why pride leads to failure?

    3. Friend, if you want a better life here and a life eternal,
      God invites us to walk in the light of His instruction. He
      invites us to come to Him for protection. If we depend
      upon ourselves, if our every decision is guided by what
      will glorify us, then we are destined for a fall.

  5. Next week: An Ounce of Prevention.