When People Say Your Name

5 Aug

Lizzard on DrivewayOur friend, Rhonda Rhea, never fails to make us smile. Rhonda recently posted on Facebook, “Saw a lizard on the driveway, and suddenly found myself thinking about saving 15% on car insurance.”

I (Dawn) wanted to tell her that it’s a gecko that’s associated with that particular car insurance company, not a lizard, but I was laughing too hard.

Making intentional associations is one of the ways we improve our memory. For example, I remember my car license plate by making the letters and numbers stand for a sentence that only I would know. It’s a handy device.

But natural associations are woven through our lives. A fun word game ~ and also a tool used by psychologist to reveal a person’s subconscious thinking ~ is called “Association.” We all make associations based on what is familiar, what we already know.

For example, when I think of the word “dog,” I see a former pup I owned, Bailey. When I hear the word “dessert,” my mind’s eye sees “cherry pie” or “brownie.” When someone says the word “kiss,” I envision my hubby’s face. When I hear the word “government,” I think, “God help us!”

As I read Rhonda’s words, especially the phrase “[I] suddenly found myself thinking,” the thought occurred to me that people might think something when they hear my name.

Think about it. When you hear a friend’s name, don’t you get a mental image? Does a word or idea pop into your head. I’m sure others react to your name in the same way.

What I want, more than anything, is for people to associate my name with the name of the One I love, Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, that’s probably not what most people think about when they hear my name. They may think, “writer” or “teacher” or something that I do. But too often, they see or hear “Dawn” and think  about stress, impatience, frustration, or lack of discipline … nothing about  Jesus.

Oh, my … that makes me weep. What am I here for, if not to point people to Him?

2 Corinthians 3:18 says we are being transformed into the Lord’s likeness. We are created Wood Mirrorto be mirrors, reflecting His glory, but my sinful “self” keeps getting in the way, obscuring the image of the One I was created to reflect and magnify. Someday, we will be like him, “for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2), but all too often, for now, we blur the image.

I remember singing a song as a child: “Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me. All His wonderful passion and purity. Oh, Thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.”

If people are to see His beauty in me, I must repent of sin, yield to God, and allow the Holy Spirit to Jesus in My Mirror“refine” me. I must allow the Lord to “polish” the mirror of my life until I reflect Him, not self.

Think about this word, “association,” Friend. What do people associate ~ what do they think of ~ when they see you or when they say your name? Is it Jesus or maybe one of the His character qualities?

People may even think of something good when they see you … something positive. But if they stop there, are you satisfied with that ~ all the attention on you?

I remember seeing a sign in a church once while traveling with a revival team. It was at the back of the church, where the pastor would see it every Sunday. The words of the sign were from John 12“Sir, we would see Jesus.”

Our goal, our purpose,  is to bring glory to our Creator God and His Son (1 Corinthians 10:31).  Our attitudes and actions should cause people to “see,” praise and glorify Jesus  (Philippians 1:9-11). As we mature spiritually (Colossians 1:9-12), people will see Him in us and glorify our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

What does that look like? We glorify God by resting in Him and exhibiting His character and Spirit. We glorify God by sharing the gospel. We glorify God by showing that the truth of the Word has taken root in our lives ~ that it affects what we read, view, eat, how we react, etc. ~ reflecting God in us in practical ways.

So, what do you want people to think when they say your name? Is it this? …

“(Put your name here) … Oh yes,  I can see Jesus in her.”

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