What It Means to be Called “Christian”

June 21, 2018  •   Tracy Earl Welliver

What power lies in a name?


Have you ever met a “David,” “Holly,” or “Jack” and said, “They don’t look like a David, Holly, or Jack”?

Sometimes our name actually adds something to our person. Peculiar people sometimes have peculiar names. Some people of tremendous strength have names that we deem strong as well.

Sometimes we give nicknames to people because of some attributes they exhibit.
In the Bible, names mean a lot. Saul changes his name to Paul when he converts. Adam means “man,” as in the first man. Eve means “to live” or “to breathe.” Elizabeth took great care to name her son John as God commanded, even if other family members did not understand why such a unique name not found in their lineage. It was a unique name for a child who had a unique future of preparing the way for the Messiah.

We have our baptismal names, our surnames, our Confirmation names, and our maiden names. But all disciples of Jesus also bear the same name: Christian. People may wonder what does a David, Holly, or Jack really look like, but they should never wonder what a Christian looks like. Unfortunately, too often those who bear this name don’t resemble the characteristics embodied in the name.

Simply put, a Christian looks like Christ. A Christian acts like Christ. A Christian truly is Christ to a world that seeks to uncover the true meaning of his name.

-Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS

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