"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Thursday, February 08, 2007

My Name is Jimmy

My family has been born, raised and bred in the South for generations. Some were from the city of Atlanta, others from the rural (then) areas of Union City, Fairburn and all around. Being a southerner, there are statements and questions that are asked of young people which only a true southerner can relate to or understand.

Anytime I would bring a girl home, I would at some point receive a quiet whisper in my ear, “Now, honey, just who are her people?” Or, if I were hanging out with some new guys from school, the question would be more, “Now, honey, they just don’t seem like our kind of folk.” At the time, it seemed as if my family did not seem concerned about much besides family names and values. Rather shallow, it seemed at the time.

Another trait of a true southern man is that the one thing, which is next to his family in importance, is his integrity and honor. Your word should be your word and it should be trusted. Without integrity and honor, your life is pretty much, well, nothing. Your name does not carry any weight and people know that you are pretty much, well, worthless. My parents told me when I left home for college to “remember who you are.” Not necessarily meaning my name, but to remember the values and ethics with which I had been raised and to not bring disgrace upon our family name.

Now that I look back on those days and questions, I realize the importance of a good name and reputation. God also tells us in several scriptures how important our name is to be considered. “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.” (Proverbs 22:1 ESV) We are also encouraged that, “A good name is better than a precious ointment.” (Eccl. 7:1 ESV)

At one point in my life, I’m not sure my parents thought my name would not change to “Convict” after a 12th grade jaunt aboard a illegally obtained school bus during fourth period, but that’s a story for another time and place.

Now, where I’m heading with this is that it is never to late to change your name in God’s eyes or in the eyes or those around you. Your name now might be ‘dishonest Denny’, ‘lying Lucy’, ‘gossiping Greta’, or just “mean old Mickey.” Just because you are known as one of the above (names have been changed), God can give you a name of which you and your family can be proud. We are told in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that “In Christ, all things become new and the old ways are gone forever.”

What does your name say about you?

And for today, my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy


At 1:56 AM, Blogger Hillary said...

I've always been intrigued with the whole notion of God changing our 'names.' He does so so many times in the Bible.

I love the song called, well, "I will change your name."

I will change your name
You shall no longer be called
Wounded, outcast, lonely, or afraid

I will change your name
Your new name shall be
Confident, joyfulness, overcoming one
Faithfulness, friend of God,
One who seeks My face


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