Why Are Names Important? A Biblical Perspective

the importance of names

Names have significance. They have power, and they define us. They’re more than a bunch of letters grouped together to sound pleasant to the ear. Instead, names can be a gift from God that contain his power and give us meaning.

In Genesis 1, God said, “Let there be light.” And there was. He named it into existence! God then said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” And there was.

One half he called “sky” and the other he called “land.” From that land, God made the first man, named Adam (which means “earth”). Then God gave the power to name other things to this man.

Adam named the animals and his wife, Eve (which means “mother of all”). The same power has been given to us.

When I was born, my mother gave me a name — Christopher. It means Christ-bearer. God gave me a name, too. It’s a bit different and came later in my life. This “true name” he calls me is Love Giver and Teacher. When God gave me my name, like he did with people in the Bible, including Abraham, Sarah and Jacob, he said to me:

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.” — Ephesians 5:8 (NIV)

When God gave me my name, he said I am a new creation in Jesus Christ; the old has gone, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). God’s Word is helping me to understand the meaning of my name and the kind of character I should seek. It tells me to surrender myself, to imitate God’s character and to live a life of love.

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” — Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV)”

What name has God given you?

The Importance of Names: Yudea’s Story

I recently saw a story from Indonesia that highlights the significance of a name. Yudea is a 21-year-old mother and has been part of our Survival Program (CSP) for three years. She has two children.

Before enrolling in the CSP, Yudea didn’t know the importance of having a healthy environment. She didn’t know the benefits of boiling water before drinking it or washing her hands before touching meals. Yudea didn’t know that if someone doesn’t clean up their body, they can get sick easily.

When Yudea gave birth to her daughter, she couldn’t buy milk or vitamins to boost her daughter’s health, so her daughter got sick easily. But after enrolling in the Survival Program, this changed.

the importance of names cisipi

She received nutritious food, vitamins, milk and a lot of information that supported her as a pregnant mother. She also was able to go to regular pregnancy checkups at the doctor without having to think twice about what she and her husband would have to pay.

So when she gave birth to her second child, a healthy son, Yudea showed her thankfulness to God by naming him Cisipi. This name is the acronym of our Survival Program (CSP), with an “I” added between each letter. The meaning of the name is “grateful to God.”

“It is a form of my gratitude because the CSP has made my son grow healthy and smart,” says Yudea.

Because of the support he has through the CSP, Cisipi doesn’t get sick easily, like other children in his neighborhood. He’s active and thriving. And Yudea? She’s thankful. Cisipi’s name is a constant reminder of God’s goodness working in her life.

Do You Share a Name With a Child in Poverty?

You might just share a name with a child in poverty who’s in desperate need of help. Deliver hope to a child in need by searching for them by name and becoming their sponsor today!

Article originally published on June 25, 2010, and updated March 28, 2024.

25 Comments |Add a comment

  1. RaghavWatts June 11, 2018

    It is great!! Each of our name defines us has an impact similar to our very presence. God has helped man become one formidable being and still we are all different. A name,a difference helps change explains the existence of room for growth.

  2. Karen April 29, 2017

    It means so much to be able to choose your sponsored chilld by name. 25 years ago my brother died. His name was Stephen. When the time came to find a child to sponsor, God sent me to a little beauty with the same name. As I write to Stephen and see that beautiful name in print, I am finally starting to heal. Thank you Compassion, for living up yo your name. Blessings.

  3. McLord December 19, 2016

    Names means a lot therefore be careful how you name your children

  4. Ythes August 26, 2015

    looking for the meaning of the name TY

  5. Sunet van der Toorn April 21, 2015

    Where do I get the biblical meaning of my name(s)?

    1. Susan Sayler April 21, 2015

      Hi Sunet! I am so sorry but we are not able to provide the biblical meaning of your name(s). I tried to research your name on Google by looking under “Sunet name meaning” and I could not retrieve anything.

  6. EJIKE AHIABUIKE August 24, 2014


  7. Justine July 29, 2014

    I loved this message. It was the inspiration for me to write this post on my blog: http://www.printabletreats.com/importance-names/

    1. Emily Vanhoutan July 30, 2014

      Hi Justine! Thanks for sharing these beautiful card ideas; you sure are creative! I absolutely love the concept of spotlighting your child’s name in the letters you send her! She is blessed to have you as a sponsor. -Emily

  8. Lisa November 23, 2013

    In total agreement with previous post dated June 25, 2010, I hope this post will reignite as the world prepares and draws attention to celebrating Thanksgiving/s in North America to Christmas and the significance of CHRISTmas and the Holy Names of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. GLORY! Peace… Joy… Love to all this Christmas 2013.

  9. Titus Yohanna Hwere August 8, 2013

    You have helped me in seeing reasons why God gave His son the NAME JESUS.
    My Dad once told me, “The reason we gave you this name is to be like those people in the Bible” Praise today i am a pastor in fulfillment to my Dad’s prayers.

  10. inijane March 1, 2013

    its an owesome thing to know how much a name means in someones life .

  11. Robert Richards September 27, 2010

    And what would the Christian meaning behind the street name of “Shooter” be and what are your blessings or fears for this boys name.

    1. Carol October 26, 2013

      “Shooter” could be his neighborhood prayer warrior, shooting prayers to the Father as he sees the needs around him.

  12. Amy Wallace June 29, 2010

    Loved this! Especially the meaning behind Cisipi’s name – that’s so cool 🙂

    1. vincent November 12, 2013

      what is meaning of Memar

    2. sebastian December 6, 2010

      GREAT I BELIEVE IT RIGHTin the bible Jabez is seen crying out to God that he changes his name and bless him too,it’s good to have a.good name.

  13. Amanda June 28, 2010

    this is great Chris! thanks!

  14. Lisa June 25, 2010

    I LOVE that!

    If anyone wants to donate to the Child Survival Program, here’s the link:


    Hmmm….Chris G., wonder why you have names on the brain right now? 🙂 I hope all is going well…

  15. Chris Giovagnoni June 25, 2010

    I saw this comment on the Compassion Facebook page and thought it was right on the mark.

    It’s from Jonathan Pendergrass.

    This also applies to Prayer! We should be saying the name of the Lord all throughout the time we pray. There is so much Power in the name of the Living King and we do not even realize it! Calling out to God in a personal manner changes the way we pray and the outcome of our prayers!
    Just try it out, I guarentee you will feel a more intimate relationship with the one that wants us to talk to him as our Best Friend!
    God Bless you all, my brothers and sisters in Christ!

  16. Juli Jarvis June 25, 2010

    Love this post so much! Love your name and the one Yudea gave Cisipi! I have a name God calls me too…

  17. Judy June 25, 2010

    That is so sweet! What an awesome story. The end just melted my heart. Compassion is doing such wonderful things for these children. May God continue to bless their work every day. 🙂

  18. Sarah June 25, 2010

    That is so cool!

  19. Sherry W. June 25, 2010

    A new name in the world because of Compassion – great story!

  20. Cheri Duchrow June 25, 2010

    Awesome! Well said and very inspirational.

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