Did you ever wish you had a different name? One that was more descriptive of the person you are—or the one you’d like to be?

When I was a teenager, I wanted to be Heather. I don’t know why, except that in those days, Heather was a far more unique name than the one my parents gave me. I found it exotic somehow, much more interesting than plain old Mary.

I know I was named for the Virgin Mary (no comments from the peanut gallery, please). Then, like now, parents often named their children based on who they wanted those children to become. Like the hopes his parents have for that tiny warrior I introduced you to a few weeks ago:

Just recently I learned that I won’t be stuck with the name Mary forever. The Bible tells us that those of us who believe in Christ will be given new names in heaven. The meaning of this passage is unclear, but many scholars believe that our new, God-given names may be based on our character here on earth. Yikes.

So what’s the one word that describes you to a T? 

In other words, if you could choose just one of the 555 personal characteristics ranked from most to least desirable in a study conducted by social psychologist Norman Anderson in 1968, what would your word be? Better yet, what word would the people who know you best choose?

And best of all, how would God describe you? Because that’s the name you may have for all of eternity.


Revelation 2:17: “I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.”


I wonder what name God will give me in heaven?

As I go down that list of Anderson’s personal characteristics, I realize that I fall toward #555 more frequently than I like to admit. I’ve been phony, thoughtless, and conceited. Heaven knows I’ve been bossy, reckless, and critical.

So for now I’d better be satisfied just to be known (most days) as Mary Without the Bad Parts.


Father, thank You for giving me time to develop a few of those characteristics that You had in mind when You brought me into this world. I know that I am a long way from perfect, but I’m excited to see the name that You will engrave on my white stone in heaven. The knowledge that this name will last for all of eternity makes a difference in how I prioritize today. Thank You for teaching me through Scripture to spend my time here well. Amen.

One Comment

  • Hmmm? A different name, huh? Guess I never thought about liking my name or not. I’m sure there have been times I would have loved to change it so I could hide behind a false one so as not to be found out over something I did wrong. There was a song in the 50s my dad liked called Aura Lee and I always thought that was where my name came from but I have no idea. Now I’ve got to worry about what my name will be based on what God sees!!!?? Oh boy. Thanks again Mary Mary. Heather sounds like a snob, I like Mary!! (No disrespect to any you know)

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