When you were born, one of the first questions asked about you was probably what your name would be. More than likely, your parents had thought long and hard about what they would call you.
One of the few things we carry with us our entire lives is our names. They tell people who we are and each name has a meaning.
In the first chapter of the Bible, the name used for God is “Elohim” but after chapter 2, His name shifts to “YHWH Elohim” which means Lord God in English. In a study I’m working through, I learned that Lord God is the covenant name of God, showing that He is personal and has a relationship with the people He created.
God then gives Adam the ability to name all of the animals, and while Adam names the animals he isn’t naming them on what they will be called but rather on what these animals will become.
After reading this, I looked up what my name is, and I might be in trouble if I start living up to my name. While the root meaning of my name has a good meaning (beloved), the actual word meaning is rebellious/bitter for Mary.
I hope I’m becoming more beloved than bitter, but my heart certainly doesn’t always reflect that.
Then I started thinking more about the names I call myself. Some days the words that run through my head are smart, loving, or fun while other times I’m quick to call myself things like lazy, unworthy, ugly.
Am I becoming what I call myself? If I call myself by names that the Lord wouldn’t call me, I’m working on becoming more of what the world wants me to think rather than what the King himself wants me to think about me, His creation.
Names hold power. When someone calls your name, you immediately turn or perk up or move toward the person who is speaking to you. In our every day moments, the Lord is calling our names, speaking to us. Urging us toward himself, reminding us that we were made in His image. We are reflectors of God.
Often, names are repeated twice in the Bible. Jesus does this as a sign of affection toward the people He loves, but He tends to do this while gently correcting them in some way. Jesus does this to show compassion followed by conviction.
As we begin a new year, I hope I’ll work toward calling myself by the names God has defined me with: worthy, loved, chosen, beautiful, in His image, His daughter. I’ll leave behind the old names like the sweaters we shed when winter ends.
And maybe we can work on changing what we call other people. Are we defining others by the characteristics God has designed them with or are we quick to point out the wrong in someone else when we really should be turning to ourselves and working on change? My heart needs some work this year, this I know.
Define yourself with words that reflect what you think of God. He loves you and He created you in His image. You are worthy of more than what thoughts cross your mind when you think about yourself.
Love and be loved, friends.