Meditations by John Dean

Monday, April 23, 2012

What Is In a Name

(Isaiah 9:6 KJV) For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Names are so powerful and are often descriptive of the personality of the one to whom they belong. One’s name seems to be more than just a way of introduction. Their name is often a way of telling a short story about that person. As a matter of fact, without realizing it, when one hears the name of a person, a picture of that person automatically begins to form in their mind.

Sometimes hearing a person’s name will bring joy. At other times that name could bring fear. For example...the name Billy Graham paints one picture in our mind, but the name Charles Manson paints a different picture in our mind. The reason these names paint different pictures is because we know the personality behind them. However, even if one did not know the personality behind a name, a picture would still begin to form when hearing it.

For example, what picture would begin forming in your mind if you heard the name Bob, Betty, Shirley or John? Think about these names and say each of them very slowly and allow a picture to begin forming in your mind. When you do this exercise you will find the outcome to be very interesting.

All of the names in our text are certainly important, but the name that seems to warm my heart the most is the name “Prince of Peace.”  When I hear that name something begins to happen on the inside of me.

There is another name that causes something to happen on the inside of me as well. That name is “Daddy.” When one of my three daughters calls me “Daddy,” I not only feel warm on the inside, but for some reason the cares of the day seem to vanish a bit. “Daddy” has to be one of the most enduring tender names in the entire world...particularly when it is spoken by one’s daughter.

My son likes to call me “Dad” and that causes a different feeling and reaction. When I hear him say “Dad” I feel strong and capable of leaping over tall building in a single bound, just like Superman.
In other words, when my daughter calls me “Daddy” I am ready to surrender all, but when my son calls me ”Dad” I am ready to conquer all.

The wonderful names noted in our text mean: our Miracle Worker, our Counselor and our Champion—makes us feel secure with the knowledge that everything is going to be alright.

I am not sure why, but over the years I find myself having a higher expectation of people with certain names. There is probably no scientific or spiritual basis for such an expectation, but I seem to do it anyway. As far as I know I am not intentionally judging people by their name.

Among the many names that I have a high expectation of is the name John, which is my name. However, I do not think that my expectation comes as a result of John being my name, but because it seems to be a name that one should expect more from. My expectation for a person seems to vary a little depending on their name.

I encourage everyone who studies the Bible to also study the meaning of the names they read in the Bible because there is a message in each one of them. I think it is also interesting that God told several parents in the Bible what to name their children because their names are very important.

Thank you for teaching us how important our names are and how important it is to give our children names with significant meaning. Lord I thank You for your love, and that you know each of us by name.

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