Posted by: Heather | March 4, 2010

What is your name?

Proverbs 22:1  “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches…”

It’s often said about people that their reputation precedes them.  As Christians, we can take our ‘good name’ for granted, and neglect to realize how important it is.  This scripture in Proverbs tells us that it’s best to choose to have a good reputation, rather than to be materially wealthy.

In Biblical days, what a person was named was very important.  Their name was considered a window into who they were.  If you look up many biblical names and find their meaning, you’ll see that often, the meaning of their name turned out to be the actual character of that person.  You have to wonder how this can be so.

I’ve seen this very phenomenon in my life when it comes to my own children.  When I was pregnant with our firstborn, my husband and I chose his name.  We really didn’t give much consideration at that time about praying for a name, and it was a difficult choice.  His name ended up being Kevin, which means ‘gentle and strong’.  That is exactly who he is…a laid back, easygoing, gentle person who is very strong, especially in his belief.  I’ve seen him set meddling adults straight in matters of faith when he was a young teenager.   After Kevin, we learned the wisdom of praying for what God would have our childrens’ names to be.  In most cases, God gave us our childrens’ names before birth.  Our oldest daughter’s name is Charity Faith (love).  She is one of the most loving people I know.  We had another daughter that passed away shortly after birth.  Her name was ‘Hope’, very fitting to her situation.  God gave us the name ‘Isaac’ for our next son (laughter).   He is the clown of the family and always trying to make people laugh.  Not to mention, he brought much laughter back into our lives after we lost Hope.  Next in line is Isaiah, ‘Jehovah has saved’.  And, last but not least, is our baby, Moriah Grace.  Moriah means ‘God has seen’ and ‘my light comes from Jehovah’.   Charity prayed for a sister for many years after Hope passed, and God graciously gave us that daughter as an answered prayer.  I believe the Lord let me know after Hope passed away that I would have another daughter someday.  He ‘saw’ her long before I ever did.

What does God call us?  There are many places in the Bible where we, as God’s people, are called blessed.  We’re also called friends of God, overcomers, a peculiar people, a holy people and God’s children.  These are names (reputations) fitting for a child of God.

Sometimes, along the way of life, we can lose sight of God’s name for us.  If we ever begin to turn back into sin, our ‘name’ can change.  God often referred to Israel in the Old Testament as rebellious, or a rebellious house.  Even though they were still God’s people, they went about making their own name by their disobedience and idolatry.

We can also lose sight of God’s name for us if we’ve been the victim of abuse (physical, emotional, or spiritual).  This is when we allow other people to give us ‘names’ that don’t really apply to us.  Maybe someone has told you you’re a failure all your life.  Maybe you’ve been in a hurtful, abusive situation where someone has tried to tell you that you’re not worth anything, and ‘if I can’t have you, nobody else can’.   And, maybe you’ve been battered spiritually, to the point that you don’t know who you are anymore.  These situations can make you lose sight of who you really are in Christ.  In these cases, the only name you can think of for yourself is ‘confused’.

But, God is the master of name change.  We see many times in the Bible where God chose to rename someone, giving them a name even more fitting to their character.  Abram (exalted father) became Abraham (father of a multitude).  Sarai (princess) became Sarah (noblewoman).  Jacob (supplanter, layer of snares) became Israel (God prevails).

God wants us to have a better name than sin or humanity could ever give us.  He wants us to know that we are blessed, and we are overcomers.  But, we must remember that we are, and spend time in His word and prayer daily to remind ourselves of our God-given name.  If we settle for anything less, we shortchange ourselves.

Joshua 24:15 “…choose you this day whom ye will serve; …but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD”.

God has given us the ability to choose.  We make conscious choices every day that help us ‘choose’ our name (reputation).  Choose the reputation of Christ.  He gave all to give us a good name.  We shouldn’t waste it.

Blessings,

Heather

Artwork (at top of post) by John Bell copyright 1998-2007 (www.jrbell.com) – used with permission
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Responses

  1. This is so awsome!!! Thank you so much for sharing this. God has truly given you a gift of studying his word and writing. Continue doing this..it helped me so much!

    • Thank you Penny! I’m so glad this blessed you. 🙂 Love ya girl!


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