Most of you are familiar with the phrase “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” We would say this when someone was calling us names to make it seem like it was not a big deal. It eventually became just a catchy phrase. Because over time it was a big deal. It did matter what people called you and said about you. Their words became like sharp needles piercing through until eventually after so many of them the pain became too much to bear.
A name is of great importance. In fact, Solomon wrote in Proverbs “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” (Proverbs 22:1 NIV) There is great power, significance, and importance in a name. Look at some of the examples in the Bible.
Abraham was called Abram, which means exalted father, before God called him to be the father of many nations. Abraham wasn’t even living up to what everyone was calling him before God made a covenant with him. Put yourself in Abraham’s shoes. Imagine everywhere you go, everyone that you come in contact with is calling you an exalted father and you don’t even have one child. Eventually Abraham did have two children, Ishmael and Isaac, but he never saw the promise of God that his seed would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and sand on the shore.
Jacob, which means supplanter or trickster, was also renamed by God as Israel. Jacob fell into the category that most of us find ourselves in. He started settling to live like what people had called him instead of breaking away and living up to what God had called him to be. So many times we fall into the trap of listening to what others call us instead of what God says about us. We end up missing out on everything that God has created and purposed us for.
Peter was called Simon, which means to hear, before Jesus called him to be a rock. Jesus saw the potential in Peter as the person to launch the church. While others saw and called him one who listens, Jesus saw him as a solid rock.
Maybe you find yourself like Abraham where you are falling short of what everyone is calling you. Know that in Christ you will not only reach the level that everyone else has you at but you will far exceed it. Or maybe you are like Jacob and are settling for what everyone says about you. Know that in Christ you are a kid of the King. You are a child of God. You have been called to so much more. Or maybe you relate with Peter.
Whatever the case, know that it doesn’t matter what anyone else says about you but what God says about you. He says you are blessed not cursed. He says you are the head not the tail. He says you are important, you are not just another number. He says that you are loved. He says that you can do all things. He says that you are victorious. He says that your past does not define you. He says that your future is bright. And He says that the best is yet to come.