Visitors to a zoo were outraged when the “African lion” started barking instead of roaring. Zoo staff said they had disguised a Tibetan mastiff—a very large dog—as a lion because they could not afford the real thing. Needless to say, the zoo’s reputation was sullied and people will think twice before visiting it.

Reputation is fragile; once it’s damaged, it’s hard to restore. It is not uncommon to sacrifice a good reputation on the altar of power, prestige, or profit. This too could be our story. Scripture encourages us: “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches” (Prov. 22:1). God is telling us that true value must be placed not in what we have but in who we are.

Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates said, “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” As followers of Jesus, we bear His name. Because of His love for us, we strive to walk worthy of Him, reflecting His likeness in our words and deeds.

When we fail, He picks us up again by His love. By our example, others around us will be led to praise the God who has redeemed and transformed us (Matt. 5:16)—for the name of the Lord is worthy of glory, honor, and all praise.