Very early I could sense a rivalry for highest esteem between the Huffs and my grandma Huff’s family, the Williams’. When Grandpa Huff died, the Williams’ side became the clear winner. Every August my aunts and uncles came home for the Williams’ Family Reunion. Unable to make the trip twice in a summer, they never came for the Huff reunion. Grandpa’s sisters did what they could to bolster the importance of the Huffs, but Grandma was successful in keeping her kids coming home on her weekend. They wouldn’t dare disappoint Grandma.
That rivalry instilled family pride. We could not point to any special accomplishments of our ancestors, but we had a pride of who we were. A threat of doom to any who besmirched the family name hovered over us all, though unstated. With it, we had an inner desire both to maintain the good name we had in the community and to do what we could to elevate it more.
Guarding the family namesake can be a very strong motivator—perhaps stronger than teachings and convictions. We can become more concerned with our reputations than with God’s. This leads me to wonder how much our behavior would change if we changed our last name after becoming a Christian. Would we weigh what impact our actions might have on Jesus’ family namesake before worrying about ourselves? Would we be cautious not to besmirch his family name? Would signing my name as Charles Huff-Christ be a constant reminder of who I am and what my life’s drive and focus has become?
Imagine (your surname)–Christ, on everything you put your name to, whether signing a check, stating a position in an argument, or endorsing an action. Do you feel stronger in your action, or do you have second thoughts? Either one reveals a growing desire to guard your namesake, and that is good.
Let the name of Christ change you.
(Photo couirtesy of morguefile and imelenchon.)
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