This post is dedicated to the names you used to have.

Cheryl and I are expecting. We found out last week it’s a boy.

The only problem is, we ONLY had a girl’s name picked out. “Zoey” for the Greek word for “Life.” And “500 Days of Summer” was one of our favorite films so you get the idea.

Now we are in a pickle. There’s no way we can or should call our son Zoey! And then I thought about how “Unnamed Son” is going to hear about how his name would have been Zoey at some point. We would sit him down one day and tell him, “Unnamed Son, if you were a girl we were going to call you Zoey.” Of course we could do this in front of his prom date just for fun but nah… we’ll do it privately.

You’ve probably heard that yourself from your parents.

I was supposed to be “Christy.” Yep, my parents had two girls and truly expected a third. This was before the magic of ultrasounds by the way.

We’ve all had names I’m sure we didn’t prefer. They could be names from the schoolyard, or names from our pre-Christian days, or even names today from those who do not like us in the office. We were all lying as kids when we sang, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.”

Names hurt.

God is in the “name-changing” business. Consider:

  • He changed “Jacob” meaning “deceiver” to “Israel” meaning “having power with God.”
  • He changed “Abram” meaning “exalted father” to “Abraham” meaning “father of many.”
  • He changed “Simon” meaning “hearing” to “Peter” meaning “rock.”

In the Bible, names determined your identity.

God loves to give His chosen ones a fresh identity.

This is why I love the Gospel. When we are born again, a NEW name is given. Check them out:

“Holy and dearly loved.” – Colossians 3:12
“Children of God.” – 1 John 3:1
“Chosen…Royal…Holy…Special…” – 1 Peter 2:9
“Friends” – John 15:15
“Saints” – too many verses to list – take your pick. Here’s one: Eph. 2:19
“Beloved” – Hebrews 6:9
“Heirs of God” – Galatians 4:7

Aren’t you glad God calls you by a new name?