My husband’s nickname is Goose (and variations thereof). As the story goes, some of his high school basketball teammates knighted him with that moniker, lo, these many years past, and it stuck like glue—even with his own family. Rarely do I hear anyone refer to him as “Bob” when around his brothers. Or old friends. Even his mom and dad affectionately adopted that name for their first born!
Nicknames, like reputations (at least negative ones), can be quite tenacious. Just ask the Apostle Thomas. First word that comes to mind???
How about Martha, sister of Mary?
Or John Mark, nephew of Barnabas?
Few people may remember that Thomas was the one that said:
“Let’s go, too—and die with Jesus.”
And that, when Jesus came to visit after his friends’ brother had died, it was Martha (NOT Mary) who stopped in the midst of grief and ran out to meet the Lord.
“When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house.”
And those who are into Bible history understand that the very man who left Paul during a mission trip ended up writing one of the gospels of Jesus, the book of Mark. (Who wudda thunk?)
Although reputation is an important thing, even according to the Bible, it’s definitely not the only thing. Or shouldn’t be. Wisdom will tell us that a person should not be a priori defined by their history, a concept that Jesus nailed down solidly when He went to the cross. And if coming to Him makes me a new creature, that means I have new ways of thinking and behaving that need to be learned as well.
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
Mixed metaphors aside, the whole picture has not been revealed because the Artist is still painting on the canvas.
And one can’t rush true genius.
John 11:16, 20; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 12:2 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.