I mean I have to give my parents the proper credit they deserve. They gave us all very God centred names. I mean you can hardly listen to an Igbo gospel song and not hear one of our names being used to edify God. That is how good our names are yeah. But it will interest you to know that I have not always rated my name like that. I have always known the meaning of the name but it did not really mean much to me. I was more upset at the fact that I did not have an English name. I had to deal with my teachers murdering the pronunciation of my name and I just thought my life would be a lot easier if I had a simple English name. It was not until I turned 17 that I started liking my native name. That was when even though I now had an English Confirmation name, I chose to be identified as ‘Ebubechukwu’. It stopped mattering to me how it was pronounced. I was proud of my name and as I kept getting more sense, I loved the name more because of the meaning. My name means God’s Glory. I say it everywhere now that I am evidence of God’s glory. If you have met me, you have touched an evidence of God’s glory. The names of my siblings equally carry such deep meanings. It is the intentionality of our parents for me.
I have said all of that to let you know that your name is important. The name you choose to call yourself means a lot. It is a symbol of your identity. Words are powerful. You have the power of life and death coming out of your mouth so you have to be really careful what you call yourself. What have you been calling yourself? What have you been letting the society and culture call you? What have you been tolerating unnecessarily? It is time to break free from the names people have called you and you have called yourself that is not really you. As far as I know, you are wonderfully and beautifully made. You are a masterpiece. Before you were even born, you were known by who matters most, God. You are special. Any name that does not recognise all these is not for you.
In Genesis 17, we see God change Abram’s name to Abraham. This comes after God covenants with him to make him the father of multitude of nations. Abram means ‘Exalted/Noble Father’. Abraham on the other hand means ‘Father of many/multitude‘. The name change is literally a confirmation of God’s covenant with Abraham.
In Genesis 35: 18 we see Rachel name her son Ben-oni (son of my sorrow) because she died as she had him. Jacob understanding the importance of names immediately named him ‘Benjamin’ meaning son of my right hand. This is coming from a father that had equally experienced a name change. In Genesis 32:28, Jacob’s name was changed to Israel. Jacob means deceiver and we all know Jacob’s story of taking his brother’s birth right and blessing. But his new name was Israel which could mean ‘fighter of God’, ‘he who wrestles with God’, ‘God fights’ as a result of his encounter with God.
Interestingly, in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 we see the story of Jabez. His name means distress or pain because his birth was so painful. The name sounds like a killer. But do you know the special thing about Jabez? Though he may have called that my his mother, he knew better because he had God. Instead of being held down by the shackles of his name, he cried out to God and God granted his request. Part of his prayer was for God to expand his territory. So, he went from a man tagged as pain to a man preserved by God and successful. Thus, it does not matter what people may have called you. God gives a name change and a situation change. He will turn the situation around. Is there anything too hard for Him to do? The answer is NO. Do not even bother trying to think about it. So, you are worried about what you have called yourself and people have called you, bring it all to your Father and cry to Him. Then, watch Him turn it all around for your good. Rahhhh!
I cannot over-emphasise the fact that your name is super important and you must be careful what name you let yourself bear. So, I guess the question for you today is what do you call yourself? What do they call you?
Today is Tuesday and as you know, it is the day everything goes down at the Inspired tribe. If you are not already following the LJM Brand on Instagram, please why? Please follow @the_ljm_brand on Instagram and subscribe to the mailing list. (A little secret – love letters (bi-weekly emails) are going out today). You do not want to miss anything from this ministry of love. Do not say I have not done something good for you today.
In addition, Faith Talk with The Girls is happening today by 7pm. We will be talking more on identity. Please show up and get blessed.