Value of a name
Posted 23 October 2011 - 02:22 AM
Posted 23 October 2011 - 12:18 PM
I am particularly impress for all the answers and inspiration gotten from this forum. I am thankful 2 Marvis, Dave, Jay, Laurie, Travis and others 4 their kind advice. I am a family man with two kids named Aaron and Adalyn. We live in nothern Nigeria with predominantly muslims. Whenever there is oppotunity 4 employement religion play roles here and muslims always have the highest and the best stakes. I told my pastor that I intend 2 change my daugther's name 2 Aisha such that she won't have difficulty in the future but he said no. When Jesus said we should be as wise as a serpent, could that be applied here? Thanks
Dear Anawa, Thanks for the kind words. It is a blessing that we have this forum to encourage one another. It is certainly a difficult situation that you are describing. Many men and women of the Bible had their names changed by God to signify their change from being a rebel to being His child. Abram (a pagan) became Abraham when he took the first step of faith; Saul became Paul when he stopped killing Christians and realized Jesus was the Son of God; Sarai became Sarah, etc. I think that to change to a name that is popular in a Muslim culture, while it could had practical advantages, would be the opposite of this.
Sometimes God's children were given foreign names by the culture where they were placed (e.g. Daniel and his friends), but they did not choose the new name themselves, it was forced on them. Even then, they were true to God's commandments, even though it caused them to face the fiery furnace. But as we know, God saved them from this physical destruction, and they realized that even if that were not His plan, that they could not renounce His name.
I believe that God wants His children to be "wise as serpents" in being aware of the dangers around them and prudent to avoid these dangers, yet He also wants us to be "harmless as doves." That could mean abstaining from even the appearance of evil, such as choosing a Muslim name for reasons of protection. In the same chapter, Matt. 22:10 says, "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved." So I believe that God wants us to be aware of what is coming, namely Christian persecution, but to be faithful to Him throughout it all, knowing that we will have eternal rewards.
I will continue to pray for you and your family.
Love in Christ,
Laurie Collett, Saved by Grace