What Is Your Name?

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

What is your name?  Names are interesting and important.

Many people like to name their children after some famous athlete.   Because of the immense rise in popularity of soccer and the success of an Argentina soccer star Messi, his hometown of Rosario has now banned anyone from naming their children Messi because it was happening too often.

A 15-year-old Icelandic girl, for all official purposes, has been called “Girl” all her life.  The reason is that Iceland’s government has refused to recognize the name Blaer, because it wasn’t on the country’s list of 1,853 approved girls’ names.  She recently won a court battle to get her name.

A British man just changed his name to Tim Pppppppppprice.  He did this to get away from telemarketers.  He said, “When these salesmen see my name on their list of names to call, they’ll think, ‘skip that – I can’t even pronounce his name.’”  Mr. Pppppppppprice might be onto a creative way of dealing with telemarketers!

Names carry a lot of meaning.  Recently the American League of Lobbyists wanted to rebrand what they were doing and changed their name to the Association of Government Relations Professionals.  The reasoning was that “Everybody has the misconception that lobbyists are walking around with a pocketful of cash.”  A new name would give a new perception.

Names can also be very tricky.  I heard about an Army recruit who arrived for basic training.  The drill sergeant immediately intimidated everyone by saying “My name is Stone and I’m harder than my name.  If anybody has any other ideas, he’d better get rid of them right now or he’ll regret every minute of the three months he’ll spend here.”

As the drill sergeant walked along the line of men standing at attention he asked each one his name.  When he came to the smallest recruit, there was no answer.  The drill sergeant became infuriated and roared, “Are you ignoring me?  What is your name?”  In a tearful whisper the young man replied, “Stonebreaker, Sir.”

Our names are so important.  The famous short story writer O. Henry’s real name was Sydney Porter.  As a young man he was imprisoned for embezzlement, and while in prison he met a guard named Oren Henry.

When time came for him to leave prison, he told the guard that his old name was so tarnished, he would like to take the name of the guard and refer to himself as O. Henry.  All of his marvelous literary work was written under that name.  As he left prison, the guard shook his hand and said, “Take good care of our name.”

One of the most precious possessions we have is our name.  Keep it untarnished, respected and appreciated.  Proverbs 22:1 says “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.”  Ultimately you and I have the responsibility of one of our precious jewels – a good name.

What is your name?

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