I never paid much attention to the importance of names until recently. Having lived my entire life in a big city, I assumed anyone that knew me by name, Debby Efurd, knew me. After all, I had raised a family, had a long career, attended church there my entire life, actively involved in ministry, and launched my writing career. But all that changed when we moved to my husband’s hometown.
Pittsburg is known for its peaches and the Efurd name is synonymous with peaches. Pittsburgians quickly cued in on my last name, but didn’t yet know me, Debby. When I would call for an appointment, the receptionist would say, “Oh, you’re the peach lady.” Well, no, I’m not; that term of endearment will forever belong to my mother-in-law.
Names are important. My mother named me Deborah, after the only female judge in the Bible (book of Judges). I liked hearing and reading about that Deborah. I appreciate the fact that my mother knew enough about the Bible to understand the importance of names. Names can give you a lot to live up to. Just like the Efurd name, I have a lot to live up to.
God likes names, too. He calls us by name because our Creator knows us intimately. Scripture says, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (John 10:14-15)
Shortly before our birth, each of us were given a name by our parents. Whether or not we realize it, our names carry a great deal of meaning. God places a lot of importance on names, too. So what’s in a name? – everything!
Isaiah 43:1 “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!”