What’s Your Name?
Your name is important. It was given to you—you didn’t choose it. You can elect to change it later in life through a legal process, but not many people do that.
Naming babies has become a big topic of conversation. The most popular names for the year are published. Even though Germany records some of the lowest numbers for reading the Bible, the two most popular names for German boys in 2022 were Noah and Matthew. For girls, the Biblical name Mary was fourth.
My parents told me how I got the name John Ed. One of my father’s best friends in the ministry was Rev. Ed Hardin. He and my dad conducted a lot of revivals together. They were prayer partners, they encouraged each other, and they supported each other.
My dad and Rev. Ed Hardin decided that the first one who had a boy would be named John Ed. The names John and Ed were a part of both families’ history. The next born would be named Ed.
Guess what—I entered the world a few months before the son who was born to Rev. and Mrs. Ed Hardin. I got the name John Ed—their son got the name Ed. Ed and I knew each other growing up and spent time together at youth camps. He has become an outstanding lawyer in Birmingham, Alabama.
Everybody calls me John Ed. Early in life I had a coach who asked us to call him by his first name rather than his last name. I will never forget how good it made me feel to know that he considered us important enough to call him by his first name. I always said that I wanted to be called John Ed rather than Mr. Mathison or Rev. Mathison or Dr. Mathison.
It became a joke at Frazer Church when somebody would call on the phone and say, “Is John there? I’m a good friend of his.” When people referred to me as John rather than John Ed, the receptionist knew that that person didn’t know much about me, and we probably had never met. Usually, it was somebody trying to sell me or the church something.
Some people have created a business to help parents name their babies. One consultant, Taylor Humphrey, has helped thousands of parents. She said, “There is so much anxiety around what used to be a very mundane part of life.” She contends that it isn’t just a desire to give children unique names but also trying to please all the picky family members, friends, and social expectations.
For $350, she will give you some baby name suggestions. For $30,000 she will do “baby name branding,” which will give a baby a personal brand.
For no cost, God has given you a personal brand. A lot of people may have a name like yours, but your name is unique. It is written in God’s hand. If God has a refrigerator, your name and picture are on it.
The Bible says that a good name is to be more desired than great riches. (Proverbs 22:1) What your name has meant in the past is not nearly as important as what your name will mean in the future. When anyone calls your name, let them remember your great legacy associated with your name.
The most important place that your name could ever appear is in the Book of Life. (Philippians 4:3)