What’s in a name? Is a name just a name? For example, what is a brand name? Is it just a name to represent a company? According to Angela Bain, co-founder and one of two partners of CA Design Group Inc., a brand name is more than a “visual element used to represent your company. It is the emotional and psychological associations that a person makes with your business, product or service. These associations represent at least two things: your business name and the perception of what that name means to your customer or client.” From the day Adam named the animals in the garden to Jesus whose name was exalted above all names, names have always been important, particularly to God. The name of God was not to be uttered thoughtlessly. So holy and sacred was “his name” that the ancient Hebrews did not even speak it in order to avoid also false representation. Instead, they replaced the unutterable name—Yahweh, with various substitutes, such as Jehovah, Adonai, Hashem, and El Shaddai. Perhaps, in looking at the significance of a brand name and its value, we could gain new insight in how we represent God’s name in these mortal bodies, which we manage. Being responsible for our health and wellness means we are also protecting the reputation of the brand we represent.
Visual Representation of the Name
Because a brand name involves more than its visual component, it is extremely important. The physical body, containing the soul, is like this visual element. Believers carry the name of Christ. God puts his name on us with a blessing just as he did with the ancient Hebrews (Numbers 6:27). For this very reason, God did not allow the them to tattoo their bodies. Their bodies belonged to him; he had marked them as his.
I remember during my bodybuilding ‘heydays’, it was so important to present a symmetrically, flawless body. Indeed, it was the beauty of the human body’s musculature we wanted to portray. For me, the human body was God’s zenith of creation. It was his best work of art that he gave us stewardship over along with the responsibility of bearing his image while we lived in it.
The Psychological and Spiritual Representation of the Name
However, being created in God’s image does not refer to our physical features but rather to our spiritual attributes. Like God, we are spiritual beings. We have godlike characteristics, making us co-creators and co-laborers with God. We bear God’s image in what we say, do and think. An athlete who represents a company, such as Nike, is in partnership to boost that company’s image, and, as a result, the athlete receives some benefits as well. We, too, are in partnership with God. When we align our entire life with God’s will, we, too, receive benefits (Matthew 6:33). Unlike the athletes who have to prove themselves worthy of the company’s sponsorship, we do not. For God, out of pure love, qualifies us. However, life is wounded. We have to work at cultivating a lifestyle that reflects God’s brand. Although the body is a vessel that houses our soul and the Holy Spirit, it does not operate independently. What happens to one happens to the other. The physical affects the spiritual and vice-versa. My discipline as an athlete taught me discipline in my spiritual life. My spiritual life reminded me constantly that true strength was nurtured from within and required the same care and exercise as my physical body. It was intentional living both physically and spiritually, requiring hard work. The holy scriptures tell us to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).
Discovering our true selves in Christ calls for us to constantly evaluate ourselves in light of God’s words in order to journey through this life freely and weightlessly. Can people see Christ within us? Our body is the first place people will meet God. Are we in conflict with our body? Do we struggle to honor it? God honored us with a body, so we in return should honor him by caring for it. Many professional athletes, like Tiger Woods and Roger Federer, represent companies and have brand values worth millions of dollars. As God’s children, we are priceless. We are God’s beloved, created in his image bearing his seal of authenticity (2 Corinthians 1:22). In other words, we carry our Father’s name. I heard a saying that went something like this: our life may be the only Bible someone might read. Let us live a life, then, that would make people curious to open the book. And let us live a life like an open book.
In this health and wellness Bible study, we explore the principle of God’s third commandment from the perspective of being an ambassador of God’s kingdom. We represent God’s name, and so the use of “this name” becomes just as important in how we use it as well as how we carry it. A name is the embodiment of who we are or what a thing is. As human beings, we embody this concept in our physical, mental and spiritual make up. This make up reflects the state of our health and well-being. Many of us desire to live a healthy life or to lose weight, in particular, but core belief systems must be changed in order for true and lasting transformation to occur.