NAMES - From Birth To ReBirth
Parents Naming Children
Perhaps one of the greatest joys of becoming a parent, be it naturally or through adoption, is the honor of getting to name the child. I thought this to be one of the greatest joys for my wife & I, and we got to do it twice, one girl, one boy - God is good! Of course, theres a pressure that goes along with it too, you don't want to give them some name thats going to get them picked on in school, you want the name (usually) to be "hip", but not so modern that it will seem passe in 5 or 10 years. Of course theres those celebrities that often use names so far out there that you almost feel sorry for the kid already.
There are other challeneges, such as "what is your last name", the first name has to be able to work with that. (My last name is Bacon, that offered some challenges!) Many cultures & nationalities have traditions in naming children, in the Bible there are references to kids named based on what was happening to the nation at the time (be it good or bad!), and also the use of family names. Some people will go to extremes to search out the meaning of names in different nations or cultures, Native American Indian names are some of the coolest, even as they've modernized them some, theres still the throw back, at least in the middle name. Can you imagine Jimm "Screaming Eagle" Bacon. As you can tell by my name, I'm obviously not Jewish, that just wouldn't be Kosher. However, my wife and I did seek to combine several factors between our two children and their names, be it Biblical (or a variation of), family recognition, tradition and a modern(ish) twist as well.
Now, all of that is said, to say this, rarely if ever does a parent set out to name their child or children what they may become on the negative side. People don't name their kids Addict, Bum, Criminal, Drunk, Erotic Entertainer, Fugitive, Gangster, Hoodlum, Incarcerated, Junkie, Kleptomaniac, Loser, Murderer, Negligent, Overdosed, Pedophile, Queer, Robber, Sociopath, Terrorist, Unibomber, Victim, Wasted, X-con, Youthful offender, or Zero. But, there is a twist to being "named" one of these "names" or one of the many others I'm sure we could come up with. Please don't see my words here as derogatory, I've been some pretty rough names myself, and, this unfortunate title that may be given to some by society, doesn't mean that their parents don't love them or still care about them, the point is that it's not what was thought of when they were little babes in arms. And we know that God in Christ still loves them!
Jesus Renaming People
I've often "wondered" about the New Name In Christ, Peter got one, Saul became Paul. Yet these days we all share one, it's Christian (Little Christ), now, we may also be called God's Guy, God's Girl, or God's Child, etc. But what about losing our old name? I've come to realize that it's not our John or Jane (Doe), but instead our Pre-Christ name(s) as listed above. No longer being known as addict, drunk, junkie, slut, tramp or whore is certainly a blessing, sadly however sometimes the people in this world can't seem to let us lose these titles, sometimes even other Christians will remember us by our old names. Although that may hurt, we can be oh so thankful that ONLY Gods opinion matters! And He "remembers it no more" once we have repented and accepted Christ before Him.
So, don't let other people bring you down or hold you down, be up in Christ. Don't let the words of another keep you in sin, and especially don't let you yourself hold you back! Often times we are our own worst enemy when it comes to getting over the past, and the forces of evil and this worldly world will be right there to remind you and help accuse you. So grow in God, in His Love, in His Holiness, & in His Righteousness be "Reborn Anew"