The very first human on earth was given a name, “Adam”. Generations after generations, it became so natural for humans to give names to every offspring, and even to animals and plants.
A name isn’t only used for differentiating one person from another. It carries an identity, a meaning, an expectation. That’s why parents would spend months thinking of a perfect name for their kids. My friend Nathan got his name because his parents wanted him to become a wise counsel like the prophet, Nathan. My other friend Ruth got her name because her parents hoped to raise her as a faithful and loyal daughter in Christ. I’ve met multiple pairs of siblings named Joshua and Caleb… just to name a few.
A name isn’t only used for differentiating one person from another. It carries an identity, a meaning, an expectation.
My mother gave me the name “Carrie” because her best friend, who is also a very smart lady, is called “Carrie” as well. However, my father’s surname is “Lam”. So thirty years later, I shared the same name with one of the most famous persons in this city.
Unfortunately this led to a lot of inconvenience. I can’t send a parcel through DHL because this name is on their sanctioned list. I can’t use Mailchimp’s service unless I send over a copy of my ID card to prove that I’m a different “Carrie”. My friends would make fun of me… and eventually I just accepted it and I’d make fun of myself too.
I finally got rid of all these inconveniences when I got married last year and took up my husband’s surname. But I’ll never forget how powerful a name could be. It defines or describes a person (albeit inaccurately sometimes). This is how other people would call you and remember you.
That got me thinking: By what name would I want people to remember me? In what identity would I want people to define me?
My husband and I chose Ephesians 1:4-6 (NIV) to be read out in our wedding. I was touched by the verse, “In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ”. I’ve become a child of God through Jesus. “Sonship”. With this identity, I get to have a glimpse of heaven on earth with the assurance of being with God always. I get to be in an intimate and personal relationship with Jesus. This is a unique and powerful identity. This is the most precious identity we can ever get.
“Sonship”. With this identity, I get to have a glimpse of heaven on earth with the assurance of being with God always. I get to be in an intimate and personal relationship with Jesus. This is a unique and powerful identity.
Some people would even adopt a new name after accepting Christ or upon being baptized to signify the transformation and the new chapter of life that Christ brings. Our identity/name is more than a label; it can carry a unique meaning, a renewed hope, an everlasting promise.
So how would you introduce your identity/name to others? How would you want people to remember you? Are you treasuring your identity/name? Have you truly lived it out?
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” – Ephesians 1:4-6 (NIV)
(Originally submitted as “Prayer Thoughts”, a weekly devotion by the Prayer Ministry of Island ECC)