The Opportunity of a Name
By: Maggie Meadows Cooper
Names have very special meaning. As soon as your name is mentioned in a company of people, it brings up a very definite picture of a certain sort of person in the minds of all who know you. When, as a baby, your parents named you, that name was a sort of blank to be filled in. Day by day, year by year, ever since, you have been filling it with meaning and content.
I recently found this little anecdote about the New Year in a book of special quotes, left to me by my grandmother:
But we need to remember that it is the high office of religion to deal with men, not in terms of what they now are, but in the light of what it is still possible for them to become. God sets Himself to expand that name to the measure of its full possibilities.
So, as the New Year begins, determine at the end of this year for your name, when mentioned, to carry a significance more shining--more splendid--more Christ-like--than it does today.
As this new year begins, I can't help but reflect on my name, and what comes to mind when others hear it. There are good days, when I hope that it brings light and hope and feelings of love and acceptance, the way Christ's name does. But there are many other days when it most likely brings other images to mind-impatience, selfishness, or weakness, among others.
But I am so very thankful that every second of every minute of every day, there is still the possibility for me to become more of who the Lord wants me to be.
And so, as this new year dawns, I hope you know the same. The Lord created you, with your given name, for a specific purpose on this Earth. And only He knows the end of your story.
"You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed."
It doesn't matter what your name, or mine, brings to mind today. Because as long as we have breath, there is time to use our name for the fullness of its possibilities in the Lord. There is time to change. There is time to apologize. There is time to forgive. There is time to soften our hearts. There is time to give mercy...and grace. And there is the opportunity to be more like Christ than we were one second before.
Here are three areas to focus on in the new year (among many others):
1. Promote peace instead of strife.
"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” - Romans 12:18
2. Focus on the positive instead of the negative.
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." - Philippians 4:8
3. Speak life instead of death.
"The tongue has the power of life and death..." - Proverbs 18:21
If every one of us strives to be more shining, more splendid, and more Christ-like than we were the day before, what a beautiful world this could be.
Maggie Meadows Cooper is a wife, mom, educator, author, and blogger with a longing for women to grow a heart for Jesus and others. She is the author of the children’s book “Bumper” and blogs at The Little Moments about what the Lord is teaching her through her children and everyday life. She contributes to Blogs by Christian Women, Devotional Diva, She Disciples, and Connecting Ministries. An educator with a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Auburn University (War Eagle!), she has twenty years of experience working with young children. She loves all things chocolate, real Coca-Cola, and lives with her husband, three children, and two rambunctious dogs in Opelika, Alabama.
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