My Grace-Full Life

6.7.19 Praise & Prayer Prompt: What’s In a Name?

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• When it comes to our names, very few of us had a choice in the matter.
Of course, you can legally change your name.
I’ve considered it.
Not that I don’t like my name.
It’s fine, but I go by my middle name and it would be really nice to have it in the first place position.
Anyone who uses their middle name understands the frustration of filling out paperwork and trying to get people at the bank or doctor’s office to call you by the correct moniker.
But as someone who hates dealing with paperwork, I realize that legally bumping Denise to first place and figuring out a new middle name would require way more paperwork than I ever want to deal with…
No, thank you.
I’ll just keep giving my legal name with the addendum, “But I go by Denise…”
Our names are an important part of our identity.
And having had the privilege of naming another human being, I know names are often chosen as a way to honor someone else or in the hopes that the name will reflect the future character of the one on whom the name is bestowed.
That’s why my son’s middle name is Thomas; I gave him my grandfather’s middle name for both reasons.
Then there are those who have unfortunate names… or names with a negative connotation.
I have to tell y’all about this meme I saw the other day.
It started with a screenshot of John 14:22 which says, “Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, ‘Lord, how is it you’re going to reveal yourself to us and not to the world?’”
The screenshot-verse was captioned with, “I have a feeling this guy always introduced himself this way.”
It made me laugh because yeah—that would stink.
To be one of two guys named Judas who were disciples of Jesus and have to always make clear, “Nope, I’m not that one.”
But all that to say, the names we go by aren’t nearly as important as the name we are known for…
In Proverbs 22:1, it says, “A good name is to be chosen over great wealth; favor is better than silver and gold.”
Wise words.
Because let’s think of some names people may be KNOWN for…
I know—these aren’t names.
They are adjectives.
But this is what I mean when I said “names we are known for…”
Think about a funeral or obituary.
The deceased person’s name is often followed by the words that are used to describe the person and inform others about who they were.
The good attributes of being honest, humble, faithful, hard-working, loyal, diligent, kind, patient, etc are what we would hope for…
Very few obituaries are going to identify the dead as mean, lazy, rude, a jerk, or untrustworthy.
(Though it has happened occasionally!)
What words would others use to describe you?
And why do they matter?
As Christians, we should care.
Because the words we’re known by can (and should) point back the name above all names, Jesus Christ.
Our good name can be seen in the reflection of His great name.
Today, as you pray, thank God for His almighty name, “I AM,” a name that reflects His all-encompassing power and presence.
And thank Jesus for His names—Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you live in such a way that your name reflects the love of Jesus.

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2 Responses

  1. I go by my middle name too! I was given my first name (Barbara) after my great grandmother. And it’s not that I don’t want anything to do with her…’s just…..Barbara is an old lady name….lol.
    I agree with you….while it would be nice to bump up our middle name to our first name….the paperwork involved would just be too much! So I continue, like you, to tell people that I prefer to be called Leigh.
    Great post! I really enjoyed reading it!

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