What’s the Meaning Behind Your Name?

By Published on June 4, 2017

Are you looking for your passion and your purpose? Then you really should find out who you are as a person. One way to start is by defining your name, because it can tell the story of your interests, values and beliefs. In the Bible, persons’ names also described their character.

In Genesis, Rachel, the wife of Jacob, had so much pain giving birth to their youngest son, she died giving birth. With her last breath she called the name of this child “Benoni,” which means “son of my sorrow” or “son of my pain.” But her husband, Jacob, said, “No, his name will not be Benoni, but he will be called Benjamin,” which means “the son of my right hand.”

So then, who are you?

The answer seems easy. All you have to do is say your name. Defining it, however, is not so easy.

For example, my name is Vincent.

Now your turn. Ready, go:

My name is ____________.

Come on, say it with the conviction.

My name is ____________!

Did you say your name? Great! Now, what’s the meaning behind your name? What’s it tell you about your purpose?

Adam called the woman Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living. Many patriarchs in the Bible were named with their purpose in mind. Some were named out of the situation they were born into, like how we mention Rachael naming her youngest son “Benoni.”

Whatever name you have, the good news is that God can change your name and its meaning. In fact, He can even change your nature. “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things become new.” (2 Cor 5:17)

We’re Created Differently

Each person is created differently, all unique in our own ways. Embracing yourself as you are today, including your interests, values and beliefs, may be the next step to developing into the person that you would like to become.

The more you know about your interests, values and beliefs, your faults, strengths and character, the closer you are to understanding who you are as a person.

There is a proverb that says “Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore, get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.”

Take time to understand your nature, those things that make up or impact your character. Understanding what makes you happy will enable you to express your desires more and allow you to remove those things that might be causing unhappiness.

When you know yourself, you can make better choices about life, from small decisions like what you want for dinner to big decisions like what type of person you would like to spend your life with. You are better able to understand those things that motivate you and to resist those bad habits that slow you down.

To become who you were meant to be, you must embrace the person you are now. Once you know who you are and who you would like to be in Christ, your mind will start making better decisions to help you become that person.

Change The Meaning 

There’s a man in Zimbabwe named Gospel Mavutula. He was originally named Misery. “I was born at a period when my parents were miserable,” Gospel said of how he got his name. His parents, both teachers, had been experiencing pressure at work and problems with their neighbors, and this had influenced his birth name.

“I decided it was too negative and changed it.” he added. Gospel says his life took a positive turn after changing his name from Misery to Gospel (which means good news).

“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” – Proverbs 23:7

What’s the meaning behind your name?


Excerpted from an article originally published at vincentwoodard.com, and is reprinted with kind permission.

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  • Thanks to The Stream for the repost. Awesome site!

  • Nathan

    I went to Zimbabwe 15 years ago, and I met several people who changed their names when they became born again. One that I remember was a man named Success, who had formerly been named Failure. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham when He gave him the promise. He also changed Jacob’s name to Israel, as Jacob means “supplanter” and Israel means “prince”. God can redeem your name, but if you’re naming your child, do the kid a favour and check the meaning first!

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