What’s in a name?
The longest surviving dream I have nursed since I was a child is to become a pastor. Beyond being called a pastor, however, I wanted to be a preacher of the word. I still want to be a pastor when I grow up. Maybe a missionary too.
Perhaps, this is partly responsible for my not having had any permanent nickname since childhood, except pastor. In fact, whenever I get to a new place, even without actually doing any verbal preaching, I begin to hear people call me pastor, behind my back and even to my face.
Names. But, what’s in a name?
While giving an Organic Chemistry lecture today, I told my students about the difference between IUPAC names and common names of compounds.
I gave example of a chemical compound called ‘churchane‘ having a rather complex IUPAC name I don’t want to write. This compound is called chruchane, not because it goes to church, or because it is born again, or because an apostle-scientist isolated it, but simply because of its structure which LOOKS LIKE a church.
As I give that a deeper thought, I realize that it would be a wise decision for me not to get carried away with what people call me.
Wouldn’t it be wise for me to constantly remind myself that without a genuine personal experience of the salvation that comes by grace through faith, regardless of what title people give me, I would remain a stranger to the kingdom of God?
My friend, I hope you know that you may dress up like churchane; looking like a church-boy or church-girl, wearing your well-ironed pleated skirt, your turtle-neck blouse, long-sleeved shirt, straight trouser, nice tie to match, and still not be born again?
Are you aware that salvation does not come just by having godly parents, being born and/or raised in a gospel church, regular attendance in church services or any merely religious activity?
Would you know, dear reader, that being named John, Grace, Peter, Mary, Paul, Esther or even Jesus, doesn’t book you a space in God’s book of life?
They may call you pastor, preacher, evangelist, prophet, apostle, Father Abraham or mother-in-Israel, but until you have a personal encounter with the Saviour, heaven knows you as a sinner.
What’s in a name, my friend? Nothing! Really, nothing!
You are not what people call you. You don’t just become what people call you. Your parents may wake up every morning and call you Governor, but that alone doesn’t make you one.
You are who you are. God knows who you are; you do too. Interestingly, the devil also does.
Why not stop the charade, take off the façade, and get a real relationship with Jesus today. He knows you have been pretending all along. He knows your hypocrisy. He knows your struggles with sin and the flesh. He knows it all.
But, He’s not judging you yet. He wants to save you. He wants to forgive your sins. He wants you to really know him. He wants you to become a Christian — not just the religion-section-form-filling kind of Christian, but a Christian in heart and life.
What’s in a name, I ask? Something, maybe, but only when the name and the named correlate.
John Ogunjimi welcomes you to the month of March. God’s abundant blessings are yours this month.
Image credit: Internet.