Genesis 35:10 (NKJV) And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name.” So He called his name Israel.”
Genesis 35:18 (AMP) And as her soul was departing, (for she died), she named him Ben-oni (son of my sorrow); but his father called him Benjamin (son of the right hand).
I have no trouble changing people’s name.
I remember years ago a friend of mine named Phillip Sargent was referred to as “Sarge”. Everyone called him that; it was OK when we were all young but years later I had the privilege of becoming his pastor and people were still calling him Sarge. I thought to myself, “Enough is enough. Sarge is not a kid anymore, he’s a grown man and I am going to treat him like one.” I began calling him by his real name: Phillip.
He proved me right.
At that same church one night a man came to church on a Sunday night, troubled, confused, and at his wit’s end. That night he surrendered his heart to God and God radically saved him. Everyone called him “Dink”; I refused to join in; I saw a mighty man of God and thus called him by his name: Anthony.
Anthony Snipes lived up to my expectations and became a mighty man of God…to this day.
This is just two examples, I could share many more examples.
The truth is, there is probably someone you need to rename. And often it is not the name you call them publically but the name you have given them in your mind. A name that reflects the fact that you’ve written them off, you do not take them serious, or you do not value them.
Change that name. Give them a name that reflects what they could be. Give them a name that reflects how you are going to believe God to help them become. Give them a name that becomes the standard of how you are going to treat them.
And while you’re at it, perhaps you need to give yourself a new name too.
- The ONE THING for today: Be careful what you call people, they have a tendency to live up/down to the names you give them.
Philippians 2:9 (NKJV)
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,