I have been called many things throughout the years, and to be quite honest, most of the names were not motivated out of love, but out of hate. Because I am a Christian, I will spare you and myself even recalling them. Before I became a born again believer, I was very much a voice speaking out against segregation and racism of any kind. When Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968, I was devastated! I remember that was the first time I was called a "nigger lover" to my face. It angered me at the time it was said, and although I hate the "N" word, I will always be proud of that name.
But speaking of being labelled a Christian, that came on a single day almost forty-two years ago (January 31, 1971), when I went from being an "atheist," to being a "Christian." I wish I could say that I have lived up to that name, but I must have done fairly well, because many people have called me a "Jesus Freak," "a fanatic," and "a religious nut," for my faith in Jesus Christ. I am always proud when people call me those names.
Of course, I have been called a son, a father, a husband, etc. but I became a Pastor for a short span in my life, people began calling be "Brother Paul." One of the daughters of our Youth Director could not pronounce the word "brother," so it sounded like "Brudder." When our youth had t-shirts made with their names embroidered on them, they presented me one with the name "Brudder Paul" on it. I was proud of that name.
It won't be long, either through death or the Rapture, I will see Jesus, and His Word tells me that I will receive a "new name." Revelation 2:17 says, ". . . To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it." I don't know what it will be, but I know one thing for sure; I will be the most proud to hear Jesus call me by that name!
After all is said and done, it is what Jesus calls us that really matters!