“A rose is a rose is a rose,” but a name is something else altogether! Names, in God’s realm, are a serious undertaking. For example, look at some of His names, and what they mean:
- Jehovah-Jireh – My Provider
- Jehovah Rapha – My Healer
- Jehovah Raah – My Shepherd
- Jehovah Shalom – The Lord is Peace
- Jehovah Nissi – My Banner
Now, consider some of the people whose names God changed: Abram/Abraham; Sari/Sarah; Jacob/Israel. And, what about people whose names have most specific meanings: Isaac/Laughter; Ichabod/No glory; Ebenezer/The Lord has brought us safe thus far (Ebenezer was, of course, a pillar of stones and not a man!). In the New Testament, Simon became Peter and Saul became Paul.
As names mean so much to God, have you ever considered what your name means? A quick survey of the names of the members of my immediate, or nuclear, family reveals:
- Melissa – Bee/Honey
- Matthew – Gift of the Lord
- Meredith – Great/Splendid
- Clarissa – Bright, Clear, Famous
- Floyd – Gray Haired One/Wise One
Once you know what your name means, you have to ask yourself, “Do I live up to my name?” If you know our family, you might wonder if our son, Matthew, is living up to his name! Melissa is sweet; Meredith is great, and Clarissa is bright!
That, I guess, brings us to me. If you asked a host of people I do believe that they would affirm that, yes, I am wise! The reason is because at a very young age I learned the secret to wisdom, as found in James 1:5, If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally.
Now, you may think, “What a coincidence – your parents named you Floyd and you really are wise!” Well, first of all, there are no coincidences – everything is a part of God’s plan! But, let me share a truly intriguing fact with you: I was named after my dad. That, in itself, is not a big deal. However, consider this: Most parents name their oldest son after Dad – but I was the sixth of six boys! In fact, there was an eleven year gap between me and my youngest brother!
What does all of this mean? I don’t know, maybe nothing! But, I do know this – – God’s Good News is that names are important, and we should strive diligently to live up to the meaning of the name we have been Blessed with!