The Name By Which I Am Known by Caleb Sharp
w/ thoughts from Dacia Wilkinson
What do people think when they hear the name Sharp? What are characteristics of the Sharp name? I like to think they are strength, love, loyalty, dependability, trustworthiness, and service to God’s will. My dad set these standards for the name Sharp, our family name, and taught us what Sharps are to be through his actions and his words. Through his life, always and in all things, Carvin Don Sharp showed love – and not his own fleshly love, but the unconditional love of Jesus. Giving until he had nothing left to give and then finding a way to give more. Offering kindness in exchange for aggression; loving in each and every circumstance he found himself inside. Because of his love of God, the name of Sharp means something in the community of Baden, and not just there, but in St. Louis and around the world.
I feel at times I lost aspects of our name by not serving God’s will, not showing love for people. I stepped away from church and my heart filled with bitterness towards people even as I watched my dad and heard his words of love. I stepped away. In that time, I started a landscaping company – Sharp Landscaping, using the family name. I chased money running my own business. It has been a struggle and I was doing it all wrong. I was chasing money and by letting money take control of my life, I lost the integrity of our family name.
Not long before my dad died, he said to me, “Son, I know you don’t do it for money, you weren’t raised that way. You do it to help people. You make them proud of their yard and themselves.”
He was right and I’ve made some drastic changes in my business since my dad died. I’m making changes that I feel God is leading me to and as I do, the bitterness once rooted in me is slowly letting love back in and my faith in God to lead me where I need to be is growing.
This makes me think about the Christian name. What are characteristic of a Christian? What do people think of Christians? I fear that a lot of people are scared of church and of Christians. The idea that they are or will be judged for their sins and short comings looms in their minds when they pass the doors of churches and they keep on walking.
Far too many people who claim allegiance to the Cross exist in a world of judgment – believing a life of legalism is the correct and only approach to faith, and because of that, those nonbelievers are right. They will be judged by many in the church – their shortcomings made public to all or whispered in secret. This is a travesty.
We, those of us who take on the Name of Jesus and call ourselves Christians, should be loving, loyal, servants of God’s will, forgiving, trusting, strong and acceptant, never judging, lording our ‘goodness’ over others. The name Christian is to mean something. It is to mean follower of Christ … someone who exhibits the Great Commission – who understands the words “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
And what has Christ commanded? In Matthew 22, he says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” The red letters of the New Testament are full of Christ’s teachings of love. We are called to love, to be love, to show love, to give love freely at all cost. Come. What. May.
John 13:34-35 states, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Those who show the love of Christ are identified in their actions as followers of His, thus taking on the Name of Christ, making themselves indeed and truly Christ-followers – Christians.
With this thought, what does your name say to people? Is the name you carry appealing or does it push the world away from God?
For me, God is working in me and stirring me up. I rededicate my life to God and pray that He uses me to portray the Christian and the Sharp He wants to the world in which He places me! ~ Caleb Sharp