In a day and age in which cash is king, many people really don’t consider the things that are of more value. I was thinking about this a few days ago as God was speaking to me about names. I’ve always known that a name can make all the difference in a person’s life.
From the days of Adam’s creation, names have served a purpose. Understanding it for many has been a problem, and in some cases a cause for roadblocks in some people’s lives. If you’ve never given much thought to names, here are a few reasons why you might want to think twice.
- Names Identify Character: From a biblical standpoint, it was customary for the Jews to watch their children for eight days from the moment they were born before naming them. The character traits the child displayed within those eight days signified what the father had observed.
- Names Identify Destiny (Destination): For some cultures, where you are from or what your perceived destiny was to be.
- Names Identify Heritage (Lineage): Even today, a name can tell people whose child you are or what family you belong to. Be it your first or last name, a person could and would know you by who was your parents, grandparents, or whomever you had been named after. In some instances in the bible you will note that when the Jews were in captivity, their captors would change their name to strip them of their identity and heritage. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed’ Nego were names given to them after Babylonian captivity. Their Hebrew names were Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael. The same was done to Africans who were brought to America as slaves.
- Names Identify Occupation: In some families you were known by the trade or occupation that your family practiced. Say you came from a long line of blacksmiths. You might be known as Smith. If your father was carpenter, or a tailor you name might reflect that.
- Names Identify Purpose: God the creator of all purposed that above all, a name would identify a person’s purpose in life. This was so important that throughout the bible you will find countless instances where if a person’s name did not reflect the purpose that God had purposed for them, he would change it to show how He wanted that person to be identified. Abram’s name was changed to Abraham, Simon’s name was changed to Peter.
Proverbs 22:1 says that, “a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches…” This is a profound observation by King Solomon. What good is wealth to a man if his character is called into question?
What good is riches if no one trust you or want to do business with you? You’re known by your name and if you are a person of questionable character some won’t care about how much money you have. In Genesis 12:2, God promised to make Abraham’s name great. In the New Testament book of Hebrews in chapter 11 we see Abraham again. Now his name is great. He is not just the father of a nation, but he is considered the father of faith.
Can you say that your name is being made great? There was a time, before the inception of credit cards, that you could walk into a grocery store and say to the proprietor that you would pay them in a couple of days for the items you wanted to purchase at that moment, and it would be permitted because you were good for it. You had credit with them because your name meant something; trustworthy, honest, dependable, loyal. But can that be said of you today? It’s never too late to have a great name.
QUESTION: How do you value your name?