by Paul Bonner

Have you ever wanted to change your name? Was there ever a moment in your life when you were just tired of hearing the same thing over and over? Consider changing it to your favorite dinner. Sam Smith, a British citizen followed through with a bit of a ruse from his friends and legally changed his name to . . . (dramatic pause—wait for it) Bacon Double Cheeseburger. Seriously! So now, ole Bacon Double Cheeseburger has to deal with his family and friends’ reactions. According to the news report, his dad is more than happy to use his new name while his “mum is furious.” And believe it or not, this young man is engaged. It sounds like his fiancé is reluctant about marrying a Cheeseburger: “No girl ever dreams of spending her big day marrying a man called Bacon.”

Sometimes Change Is Good

Certainly, there are times in all of our lives when change is necessary. For example, we might need to eliminate bad habits that we’ve settled into. Occasionally we need to change the people with whom we frequently spend time, perhaps friends who potentially may have a negative influence on us. We can always change our time management to create more space for growing in faith, understanding Scripture, and meditating on God. But changing our names probably is not something that’s high on our list of priorities.

Think Before Changing

Our names signify something more important than a few letters strung together haphazardly to form a word. Often there is deep meaning attached due to family history or prayerful intentions on the parents’ part. Furthermore, the Bible helps us see how names play a unique role in our calling and purpose in life. Our names carry meaning and, while we can change them, we should first consider who God is calling us to be in the midst of such a transformation.

All throughout Scripture, God uses names to represent a significant sign of identity. In today’s world, discovering who we are is a constant battle. Ultimately, Christ-followers share core uniqueness in being God’s beloved. It is our true identity.

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