I did this thing in the classroom if I couldn’t remember a young man’s name. I would just call him Maynard. I called one boy Maynard so often everyone else started calling him Maynard too. I think even his mom started calling him Maynard. No one knew his real name until he graduated from high school and the principal called him by his given name to present him with his diploma. His classmates looked at each other in disbelief. I feel a little bad about it now.
If someone calls us by the wrong name, it’s like a reflex to correct him or her. It’s important to set the record straight. Bad things can happen if our identity is mistaken, especially by the computers that keep big data on all of us. I had to prove I wasn’t Jason Nelson Jr. to one of the credit bureaus. I don’t know that person, but I knew it would be a mess if his debts got commingled with mine.
God keeps us all straight. He knows our names and the stories that go with them because they are his stories too. “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1). He will graciously gather us to himself in his name. “Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by my name” (Isaiah 43:6,7).