Thursday, April 12, 2012

What's In A Name?

About a month ago I heard the end of a news report talking about a growing trend called "name remorse". Then I ran across this article in "Shine by Yahoo" asking "Do You Have Baby Name Remorse?"  Apparently they've conducted a poll and a number of people, for a variety of different reasons, are second guessing the name they picked for their child.

The news program explained that parents were afraid Universities and Businesses were less likely to take candidates with certain names seriously.

The Shine article had this to say:
"A new poll, conducted by, found that almost one tenth of parents regret the name they've given their child. That's up from 3 percent compared to polls conducted in recent years. So what's with all the remorse? Two words: Peer pressure. More than half of the regretful parents surveyed said they opted for names that were trendy or fashionable (Apple, anyone?) in the moment. Thirty-two percent said their child's name ended up being more common then they first imagined."
The article went on to say:
"Just as our desire for interesting names is rising, so too is our obsession with choosing the right name," Laura Wattenburg, author of "The Baby Name Wizard" tells The Guardian "Parents willing to go out and change a name is becoming more common because they are conscious they are sending their child out into a competitive landscape, so branding them for success makes sense. If the brand name doesn't work in the first instance, change it."
I find this all very interesting, and even more...disturbing
First of all, I'm not even sure what to say about the fact that parents are looking at their kids as someone they need to "brand for success"???  Or that they admit to falling under peer pressure when deciding something as important as the name of their offspring. Lastly, I am concerned about this need for everyone to prove that they are an original (note the above comment about the names being "common")  But these issues are for a whole different blog altogether...

The main thought I had when I heard this report was the same question posed by Shakespeare himself... "What's In A Name?"

Remember how the names in the Bible had purpose. Names were very important and the meaning behind them was well thought out to match the person or situation. Take for example the Bible story in Ruth about her mother-in-law Naomi (who's name meant "pleasant, lovely"). Naomi had such a hard life, that as she returned to Israel a widower with no hope, she changed her name to "Mara", which meant "bitter".   She eventually changed her name back as God restored her.

Many times a person's name was itself a prophetic word that proclaimed their destiny. For this reason, on some occasions, God found it necessary to change the names of His servants.

  • God changed Abram's name to "Abraham" - (Father of many Nations)

  • He changed Jacob (which meant "deceiver") to Israel (contended with God)

  • Saul became Paul after his conversion

  • Simon was changed to Peter (after his revelation about Jesus being the Messiah)

But out of all the names ever given, there is one name that stands above - the name of Jesus!

"Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."  - Philippians 2:9-11
Out of all the names that Jesus goes by, such as Savior, Redeemer, Deliverer, Prince of Peace, etc...there are names that describe Him as He returns to earth in victory - they are:

  • Faithful & True
  • The Word of God
  • King of kings
But did you know that Jesus has a secret name? It's written on Him and only He knows what it is! I assume it will be revealed when He returns.

"I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:   king of kings and lord of lords." - Revelation 19:11-16

God is in the name-changing, and life-changing business! What's in a name? There is a great deal of importance in a name. If you belong to Jesus, you come in the power and authority of HIS name.... Not only that, God knows your name (He knows who you really are, the person He created you to be).

"But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: 'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine'" - Isaiah 43:1