Thursday, May 22

What's in a name?

"A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." Proverbs 22:1 (NIV)
"One can only be esteemed sincerely when he has esteemed sincerely, honestly and authentically as a way of life. Being respected for who you are is more important any day than being accepted because of what you have," is what the HonorBound Devotion author(s) have for today.

My grandfather told me that my name, the Surname, is one of honor, pride, and dignity. And my grandfather definitely emulated all of those things. There are, according to the last statistic I've seen, about 6,000 Hutsons in the world. The rumor has it that anywhere this spelling (it has a different spelling too, Hudson), that person can be traced in the family tree to show relations. I have had an opportunity to discover that the rumor was true, finding a cousin somewhat removed, in the wilds of North Carolina one year when I was working for the railroad company.

My father didn't live his life exemplarily, having some issues that today few people in the world would shake their heads at. But it lasted the generations, as I discovered when I attended my grandmother's funeral, and stood amongst the 'other' side of the family. A name invokes feelings that range from disquiet to anger, happiness to joy. And the reputation coupled with that name last forever. Benedict Arnold, John F. Kennedy, and Jesus Christ, all invoke either hatred or joy. What does your name invoke?

I have always said that the only thing that no one can take away, but that you can give away is your word. Your word is your bond, so the saying goes. If you say you are going to do something, then it is up to you to do your best to fulfill that promise. If you are an honorable person, there is no other choice. Honor demands that you satisfy your oath, your declaration.

There are times when; for safety, health, and security of others or even yourself, the situation you've pledged to is no longer fulfillable, in an honorable fashion, and you have to distance yourself from the obligation you've committed to. Maybe this is why Christ warns us about swearing an oath, because the world is set against us fulfilling it.

There are times when I have committed to someone for something and it suddenly became, in the course of time, something that I no longer wanted to do. I did it anyway, sometimes not as gracefully as I should have, but always I've done my best to fulfill my obligations or at least, make sure the person affected knew why I no longer could fulfill it.

We live in a society that looks to others for approval, or scorn. We constantly seek out those who can give us the ability to be the best, or the worst, we can be. One saying is that you can tell a lot about a person by his/her friends. Most of us seek out groups where we are considered worthy of inclusion. We want to be looked at favorably.

Jesus Christ is a name that invokes many things in many people, widely varied and deeply personal. And His life is an example of the power of a name, the power of walking a life where esteem isn't sought but rightly given. There is not one among us that can say the power of what Christ did here on earth is not more valuable than all the gold, silver, or precious gems in the entire world.

When your name is mentioned, does it invoke scorn and derision? Or does it invoke visions of honor, love, and devotion to others?

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