What’s in a name?

I was driving the other day and saw an empty office space with these words on the outside: “Your name here.” I thought about that for awhile. What does it really mean? Of course, it is an attempt to encourage folks to rent out the space. But, it really is kind of insult if you think about it.

Some building owners are acting as if they know me and they don’t. And, they don’t even have the decency of calling me and asking my name so that I can be more than a “your name here’ on their wall.

I feel the same way when I get some junk mail and it is addressed to a certain name or “current occupant.” I don’t like to be referred to “current occupant.” I am much more than that. I have a name after all.

Although, I have to admit that I do the same thing to others from time to time. When I fail to remember someone’s name, I occasionally will resort to “Hey bro, how you doing?” or some other kind of greeting. I am trying to pretend that I know them when I really don’t.

You see there is something very important about “naming” others. It makes them more than just a number, more than just entities taking up space.

The Bible goes to great pains to talk about the names of people. Jacob, the “deceiver” is renamed Israel, “the one who wrestles with God.” Joshua means “God rescues” or “God is salvation” and is the same Hebrew equivalent of the Greek form of the name Jesus.

You see “naming” is important. Parents think long and hard before they give their kid a name. But even more important than the name chosen is the reason it is important. It gives us an identity. It makes us more than just “anybody.” We are “somebody” special!

We are told in the Psalms that even the stars have been named by God. He knows our names! He knows who we are and sees each of us every day. God is aware of everything that concerns us.  We are important!

So, don’t bother sending me any more “no name” mails. It will head to the trash where is belongs!

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