What’s in a name anyway? Names convey meanings and they have attachments to them. When we think of a name, we think of someone we know with that name and the feelings it evokes. In biblical times, people’s names were very important. It not only designated who they were, but suggested traits of the person. Examples include Adam, meaning “the human” or Naomi, meaning “pleasant.” Many people in the Bible changed over time, and God gave them a new beginning. He changed their name letting them know He recognized the change in them. Paul, the disciple of Jesus, is my favorite example of this. In his former life, known as Saul, he was a persecutor of Christians. The Hebrew meaning of Saul is “prayed for” and the Greek meaning of Paul is “small.” What a mark of humility that God changed his original name to one more suited to God’s servant.
In September of this year, the Lord began to speak to me about my own name and the meanings I associated with it. In my younger years, and pre-Christ days, I had been known as promiscuous, and filthy-mouthed--I hung with a rough crowd. I had often been referred to as rough around the edges. I had even been told once or twice that someone would hate to meet me in a dark alley. Granted, I’m not perfect and some things leave a lasting impression. Well, if you met me now, you might catch a glimpse of a few remnants of those days. The Lord is still working on many things in me, but one thing He wants me to know is I am His and that makes me an heir to the Kingdom. I am chosen. I am wanted. God wanted me to strip off my former self and put on my new self (righteousness and holiness.)
"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:22-24
I made a conscious decision to drop my maiden name (which I had been carrying for a long time) and shorten my name from Jennifer to Jen. The Lord made it clear to me I had carried too much baggage for far too long.
Loved one, I don’t know what your name is and I don’t know if you love it. I also don’t know if it is marked with a history of which you aren't proud. What I can tell you is God promises you a new name. Revelation 2:17 says that your new, secret name will be inscribed on a smooth white stone. The color of the stone represents a clean slate. I pray you can see the new you and value the price Jesus paid for you. He has given you a life worth living, and it’s worth laying aside the former you. Take some time now to thank God for making you more beautiful by changing our name. Praise Him for His great works!
Cheering you on,