He Knows My Name – Why Our Names Matter To God And Us
Just about everybody likes to be called by name. We each have a given name and it may be our most prized possession. Our parents took many months to decide just “who you were going to be.” They gave us our names.
God in very much in the naming business. He says that he will give us a new name in heaven as it is written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 21:27). In Matthew 1:7, God tells Zechariah to name his miracle of a son: John. An angel tells the Joseph (who tells Mary) that he will have a son and His name shall be Jesus (Matthew 1:21).
Jabez, who was popularized by the Bruce Wilkinson book “The Prayer of Jabez,” was a name that meant pain (1 Chronicles 4:9-10). The apostle Paul had his name changed from Saul to Paul upon Christian conversion (Acts 9). God himself has a whole host of names that describe his character: Yahweh (When you see LORD in the Bible), Elohim, Jehovah-Jireh and on.
What is it about our names that instilling in us our identity?
Names carry with them meanings. In fact, if someone was verbally abusive to you as you grew up, you would probably never consider using that name for any of your future children. On the other side, we will name our children as a tribute to people in our lives who have deeply impacted us.
For some reason, one of the hardest things for us to do is to remember someone’s name. However, as mentioned before, by utilizing someone’s first name when you interact with them, you immediately open up an appropriate door of intimacy that could not be opened without using it. I challenge you over the next few days to do your best to begin every conversation with someone that you know by beginning with their first name. In doing so, you may break down any initial barriers that you may or may not have known existed. This is especially true in cases where you are perceived by the person you are speaking to as “above them”. Using someone’s name is a way to show respect and humility.
Being intentional about remembering someone’s name is an act of love. If you do little to invest in that form of small memory then, in essence, you’re saying they don’t matter enough for me to enact my effort. People need to matter to you because people matter to God.
What are some devices that you use to remember peoples names? What is the best way you know to recall someone’s name when you haven’t seen them in a while or you’ve just met them? I’m sure I can benefit. We all can benefit.