Saturday, June 18, 2016

Overcoming your past

A good name is better than fine perfume... Ecclesiastes 7:1

A popular Fathers Day song tells of a father who left his baby boy with three gifts before he disappeared: an old guitar, an empty bottle of booze, and a girl's name, Sue. The boy grows up to be a bitter man who hunts his father down and gives him a near fatal beating.

Okay, not a Fathers Day song but it has a happy ending. The father confesses that the name was a way to make sure his son grew up tough.

Names are important and can determine your destiny. On the other hand, the Bible tells of one man who overcame a terrible name (1 Chronicles 4:9-10). Jabez' name means pain. His mother named him that, so he would never forget the pain he'd caused her.

Jabez could have become embittered but he did not let his past dictate his future. In the middle of a 600 name genealogy that fills the first 9 chapters of First Chronicles, it is noted that he “was more honorable than his brothers.”

In fact his prayer, recorded within this brief passage, ends with a plea “keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain.”

For some, the word father brings up painful memories but, like Jabez, we can turn from our dysfunctional families to our Father in Heaven. “So then, you Gentiles are not foreigners or strangers any longer; you are now citizens together with God's people and members of the family of God (Ephesians 2:19 GNT)." 

Your past does not dictate your future.

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