Yesterday, I was trying to order something through a Dutch company. Their website was completely in Dutch (not a language I know well). When I do these types of things, I usually make sure I’m using Google’s browser Chrome. Why? Because of a neat little feature of when you are on a website that is in a different language, it will ask you “Would you like to translate it?” and when you say “Translate” – Chrome translates the whole page for you. In my ordering yesterday however I didn’t hit the translate button until I was about half way through the order form as I could understand most of it. When I finally did hit “Translate”, I noticed something different – my name was now “Courtney Intoxication”. I knew my last name was Dutch but I didn’t know it had meaning let alone this meaning. I looked it up and sure enough in Dutch, Roes = Intoxication; drunkenness; whirl; fuddle; lust; and well this last one is a word my wife doesn’t like used and not appropriate for this website. I’m not sure what to make of my ancestry right now.
When our son was born, we wanted his name to mean something so we named him “Alexander” which means “helper of mankind”. We didn’t want to place too big of a burden on him but we wanted him growing up knowing that he had a purpose in life and that it was more than seeing what he could get for himself. In the Bible, we see people all the time having their name changed to reflect the person that they are or the person they are to become. Barnabas wasn’t always named that but when people saw that he was an encourager, they named him “son of encouragement”. Peter the disciple wasn’t always Peter – he was Simon but then Jesus saw in him something more than anyone else and renamed him “Rock” and on this “rock”, Jesus was to build his church.
Today, we don’t formalize these names as much – mostly we use them as nicknames. But if someone were to come up to you and give you a nickname that reflects how you are or how they see you will be, what would those names be? Would it be something that you would want your children and your children’s children to inherit?