5/9: On Knowing Names


After having taught school for 30 years, there are a lot of previous students in my past. From time to time, I meet them at an event or in a store. Inevitably I usually know their faces but I can’t remember their names and they always expect me to. I’m thinking, Come on, now. The mathematical comparison is completely lopsided between how many teachers’ names you had to remember in 13 years and how many students’ names I had to remember in 30. Numerous memories of the great times we shared are indelibly printed, but I humbly request that they please don’t hold it against me if I can’t remember every name.

On the rare occasion when I can remember a former student’s name, I see an amazing grin flash across his or her face. That smile reminds me of how special I feel knowing that this child remembered me fondly. And that special feeling speaks to the worth of what I do as an educator and mentor of young people, which in turn encourages my worth as a human being and a Christian.

It’s nice to be remembered by name. In chapter 16 of the book of Romans, Paul impressed me by giving shout-outs to people he knew by name. And he had some names to remember like Priscilla and Aquila, Epaenetus, Andronicus, Junia, Amplias, Urbanus, Stachys, Apelles, Aristobulus, etc. But not only that, Paul remembered something about each one of them as well:

  • Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house. (verses 3-5a)
  • Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia to Christ. (verse 5b)
  • Greet Mary, who labored much for us. (verse 6)
  • Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. (verse 7)
  • Greet Amplias, my beloved in the Lord. (verse 8)
  • Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys, my beloved. (verse 9)
  • Greet Apelles, approved in Christ. (verse 10a)
  • Greet Herodion, my countryman. (verse 11a)
  • Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, who have labored in the Lord. Greet the beloved Persis, who labored much in the Lord. (verse 12)
  • Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. (verse 13)

Charge it to my head and not my heart that I can’t remember the names of all my former students, but be encouraged today to know that once you’re a part of God’s family, He will never forget your name. He’s smart. He writes them all down in a book, the Book of Life. And He keeps a record there of stuff about you (see Revelation 20:12-15). Be encouraged by Luke 10:20b which says, “…rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

Hmmm. Writing things down to remember them. What a novel idea. Now if only I could remember where I put my pen…


©2013 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website, and now also available on Kindle!




~ by sanewriter on May 9, 2013.

2 Responses to “5/9: On Knowing Names”

  1. It is not what you call me, it is to whom I answer to.

  2. Thanks, Sharon. I just read to Woody. You blessed us. # Marilyn J. Woody My Blog: A Thread of Legacy # My FaceBook # My Fan Page

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