A New Name, Please!

A New Name, Please

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

Often, when we go to a gathering, we receive a blank sticky label on which we write our name. Perhaps that label already has our name on it. Nametags make it easier for people, those organizing and those participating. Remembering a whole lot of new names at once is difficult. The older I get, the harder it is.

Some people hate nametags. Maybe they don’t want to be prejudged. Years ago, I wrote a short story, “The Bad Boy.” The young boy in my story was defined first by his name, Cain, the first murderer in the Bible, and by his hyperactivity. He was teased by his friends and labelled “bad” by the adults in his life. He learned quickly that he was as bad as his label. Every time I tell that story, people speak to me afterwards about being labelled “bad” as a child.

Psychologists tell us that we live up to, or down to, other’s expectations. My experience has shown me the truth of that statement. Because I love teenagers I expect them to be helpful, full of energy and enthusiasm, a blessing. And they have always given me their best.

The last few years as a Christian, I’ve felt as if I’d like a new name. I believe strongly that Jesus taught and lived that every human person was a precious and beloved child of God. Jesus said the two most important commandments were to love God and to love your neighbour as yourself. Why does the label “Christian,” trouble me so?

Over the centuries and in my experience, the reputation of Christians has been sullied by the behaviour, attitude, and beliefs of some of us. It seems that today, the mass media portray only those Christians whose words and actions oppose Jesus’ teachings. How “Christian” beliefs got so twisted is beyond my comprehension. Still, I don’t want to be identified with such groups.

So, as a follower of Jesus, I’d like a new name. I’d like a name that says, “I’m someone who accepts and loves all people regardless of race, color, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, economic status, size, shape, ability, faith or even lack of faith.”

Today on Valentine’s Day, I want the world to know that I’m doing my best to love all people. I hope to treat all people as God’s wonderful creations, not to prejudge anyone, and to teach others to do the same. That underlying message is essential to all my writing, my books, my storytelling, my preaching, my living. This is my goal, my desire, my hope, my purpose.

On the days that I fail, and I will at times, I’m far from perfect… On the days when I lose patience, or am oblivious, I want to be reminded that I live a path of love. This is my purpose as a Christian. This is love.



Recent Comments

  • Margaret Glenn
    February 14, 2024 - 11:33 am · Reply

    “”Christ in you” or as a bumper sticker CHRISTNU or substitute ‘me’ in either case.stating we exemplify the ways of Christ.

Leave a Comment


Make sure you don't miss anything!

Past Thoughts