Since ancient times, many cultures have attached such significance to a name that it was believed to be integrally tied to the very soul and destiny of the human being. A name was a public declaration of not only what to call you but who you were.
Our names are not a label but our identity. During the ugly period of slavery, slaves were given names that indicated their job and their ownership. Future generations of African Americans attempted to reclaim their past and identity by giving their children names that were native to the motherland.
I was recently struck by the importance of names while reading I Chronicles. In the midst of a long genealogy, the bible tells of a man named Jabez. The name Jabez means sorrow but this man of sorrow prayed and received God’s blessing. I pondered my own name, and identity. Am I living up to my name? As I dream and plan will I live up to my name or surpass it?
Does your name fit your purpose? In biblical times, God often changed the names of followers to signify a new life and new destiny. No matter what we are called, we can choose our identity. Whatever you are called, wear it proudly and allow your legacy to determine how future generations will see your name.
As you move forward this month with your hopes and goals, what will you be called?