“My Name Is For My Friends”
There is a line in Lawrence of Arabia when Lawrence meets Sharif. Sharif has just come upon him. Lawrence is trespassing at a well in the middle of the desert. Sharif shoots and kills Lawrence’s guide. He then confronts Lawrence and asks him what his name is, “My name,” Lawrence replies, “is for my friends.”
“My name is for my friends” is a courageous stand for truth and against tyranny. There is also a more subtle meaning. It is an affirmation of love and friendship. “My name is for my friends,” means one does not feel the need to broadcast one’s identity. He let his actions speak for themselves. Those who are his friends know it. They love him for who he is. What he did serving others is what matters.
“My name is known to my friends,” means we don’t have to try to impress those who know us the best. In a world where social media is driven by name recognition, this simple philosophy is greatly lacking. Such recognition is empty. The reward is also fleeting. There is something about not letting the right hand know what the left hand is doing. If we pray in the street corner or must have recognition for the alms, we have our reward. There is something shallow about the need to promote ourselves. If we are the examples we ought to be, name recognition will come. What matters most is those that know our name. If we are allowing our actions to speak for themselves and working quietly to help others, then if name recognition comes, it will be because of the work we do, not because we have promoted ourselves. But even then, not everybody will really know us.
Further, “my name is only known to those who know me” speaks to the depth of the relationship with one another. Many people may recognize our name, but only those who are deep, intimate friends really know our name. They are close and personal relationships. They really know our name.
Finally, what really matters is not "do others know my name", but "am I known by God?" “My name is known by Him” is what is important to us. Because of His desire to love us and sending His Son to die for us, we can be known by Him (Heb. 6:10). We can have fellowship with Him. We can have that deep personal relationship with Him. Our lives matter because He knows our name. He knows those who are His (2 Tim. 2:19-20).
So, in a world that is crazy about getting their name “out there,” let your name speak for itself. It does not need any help. Just live for God, respect others, and walk the path of righteousness.