I love going out to eat. Part of the fun is meeting our wait staff for the evening. Most often it is someone I have never met before. Strangers brought together around the desire for a good meal and the need for a job. I find names fascinating. The more unique the name, the more fascinated I become. At some point during our brief interaction I am often led to ask, “So, what does your name mean.” I find the more unique the name the more likely the individual knows the deeper meaning behind it.
A few months ago Nancy and I were out to dinner and our server introduced himself, “Good evening, my name is Adebola. I will be your server tonight.” Everything came to a stop right there. Nancy hung her head as I began my inquisition regarding the spelling and meaning behind his name. He smiled when I said, “That name is uique, I don’t believe I have heard it before, how do you spell it?” When I asked what it meant he stood a little straighter and said, “Royalty meets Wealth.”
Wow, what a name. Talk about something that points to a future. Nothing normal or average in this young man’s future. He knew very clearly the deeper meaning behind his name. I can imagine his parents speaking the greater truth of his name into his life from a very young age. I would love to know what the future holds for him. “Royalty meets Wealth.”
What’s in a Name?
Daniel means “God is my Judge”. My name has always carried deeper meaning for me. It reminds me of the Daniel from the Old Testament and his commitment to follow the leading of Abba Father in the midst of the most difficult circumstances. No matter what chaos and turmoil presented itself in his life Daniel worked to remain obedient to the teachings of God. His commitment to God raised the chaos in his life, even put his life in danger, but Daniel had confidence in the faithfulness of God. “God is my Judge”…not those who happen to live and move around me. “God is my Judge”…not those who speak words of condemnation and chaos upon me. I seek to hear the words “Well done good and faithful servant” from one, and only one voice in my life…”God is my Judge.”
Christian is a name that gets tossed around pretty easily these days. We label many individuals and things as Christian. We like labels. The name Christian means “Christ follower.” A Christ follower is one who has accepted the teachings of Christ and is working to live their lives based upon those teachings. There is much in our world that carrys the label Christian and yet is far from living and moving as a true Christ follower.
Names are important. They have the power to identify and speak life into people. As a Christian my label is a constant reminder that I should be following the teachings of Christ. Sure, I will fall short. Fall short on a daily basis, but I should not be okay with that. I must “daily pick up my cross to follow the one whose name I carry.”
A New Day
It is time for all who carry the name of Christ to begin to live into that name. To lay aside the things of this world. To adopt the teachings of Jesus and learn to speak them with grace and power into all situations. The world is tired of watching those who carry the name Christian live exactly the same as those who carry other names.
“Christ Follower”…stop following those who promise you something today or tomorrow.
May the world see “Christ Followers” who know and strive to live the teachings of Jesus each moment of their lives.