ODJ: what a name!

May 11, 2014 

READ: Judges 9:1-6 

Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17). 

Hi, please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Chia Poh Fang. This is my dialect name and I’m a Hakka. So, in Chinese, my name reads Xie Bao Fang. “Xie” is my family name and it connotes gratitude. “Bao” means protection. And “Fang” means fragrance. So my name means “thank you for protecting the fragrance.”

Names are interesting, aren’t they? In fact, some people claim that children’s names can tell us something about their parents—their race, social standing and even their politics.

Abimelech means “my father is king”. What does that tell you about Abimelech’s dad? No prize for guessing it right. Abimelech’s father, Gideon, had an ego issue. When the Israelites asked Gideon to rule over them, he refused—but then he proceeded to live like a king (Judges 8:22-30). Gideon’s son would not be as kind and gentle a ruler as his father. He connived to rule over his people, and murdered 70 of his half-brothers to make sure it happened (9:1-5).

Many explanations could be given for Abimelech’s lust for power. Upbringing would be one of them. In fact, many of us imitate what was modelled and taught to us by our parents. But while family backgrounds may shape our personalities and create complexes, we don’t have to remain that way. For “anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

The life giving Spirit now lives in us, providing new perspectives and the ability to live out new behaviours. As believers in Jesus, we now have new family traits to follow and portray.

Have you received Him as your Saviour and Lord? If so, you belong to Him and 2 Corinthians 5:17 is a reality for you! —Poh Fang Chia

365-day plan› Job 42:1-17

Read Proverbs 22:1 and consider what it takes to have a good name. 
Can you identify how your upbringing has shaped some of your current behaviours and attitudes? What Christ-like character qualities do you need to ‘put on’ and what sinful ways do you need to ‘put off’?