The Name Game

When Mama and Daddy named me “Sarah” I’m sure they weren’t thinking about my Biblical predecessor. They obviously realized that my name was in the Bible, but they were probably more concerned with finding a pretty name for their angelic baby girl. Oh, but if they only knew how well I would live up to my name…

Abraham’s tired, old wife, Sarah, was in her seventies when she heard that God had promised to give her husband a much-desired son through her barren womb. Well, naturally she thought that God or Abraham were mistaken or that maybe she had misheard. So, she decided that she must help God accomplish this thing. She called in her maid—an exotic, younger woman—and sent her to Abraham.

Abraham knew what God had said, but when Sarah sent the maid in, he decided that maybe he should just humor his wife and try Plan B.

Well, guess what? Plan B worked.

Now, one would think that once Sarah got her way, she would be happy. But let’s think about this: the maid has succeeded where Sarah had failed—conceiving a child—in a society where this was really the only thing a woman was valued for. Each time Sarah saw the pregnant maid, she must have been reminded of her “failure” and her “lack of value.” And standing next to this younger, pregnant woman, she must have felt threatened. So, she followed her impulses and emotions and kicked the lady out.

I have noticed that I’m like my namesake in some ways:

1.       When God promises me something, I immediately assume He’s mistaken or that I’ve misheard Him. The first thing this tells me is that I’m not trusting God to be true to His Word. His Word tells me that He loves His kids (me), that He keeps His promises to His kids (me), and that His sheep (me) know His voice. Now obviously, because I’m human, I can make mistakes. But instead of making assumptions about God, I should trust Him enough to either fulfill the promise or show me my error.

2.       I feel like I have to “help” God. I have the worst trouble sitting still. I get a case of “the good intentions” and go off half-cocked, like King David. (At least I’m in good company.) The first thing David did when he became king over Israel was to attempt to bring the ark of God’s Presence back to Israel, where he could build a house for it. David’s intent wasn’t wrong, but he didn’t consult God about it and ended up getting Uzzah killed and seriously discouraging the entire nation. And that’s the problem with “helping” God. I always end up making a huge mess and I’m NEVER the only one that gets hurt. God said to “be still and know that He is God.” And He said to wait on Him. He doesn’t need my help.

3.       When I get what I think I want, especially by fleshly means, it usually isn’t as pretty and perfect as I thought it would be.  

4.       I allow myself to be led by my emotions instead of by the Spirit of God. Sarah doubted God and let her emotions lead her to make some seriously bad decisions. In fact, we’re still reaping the consequences of her decisions. The Apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 5:16 to “live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” He goes on to tell us that the fruit of this Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. How much more fruitful would Sarah’s life have been if she had listened to God instead of her emotions? And how much more fruitful will my life be if I will be led by the Spirit instead of my emotions?

I thank God that He created me separate and unique. He’s created me to be fruitful. And I don’t have to run from my name. I just have to trust in His.

About Sarah Salter


  1. Well, I guess you’ll have to start calling me “sarah” too because I’ve fit all those descriptions at one time or another (or all at once). There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. I recall this proverb often, I have to. 🙂

  2. It’s interesting to read about our biblical namesakes and make comparisons. Somehow the lessons are more personal with the name attached, don’t you think?

  3. “I don’t have to run from my name. I just have to trust in His.”

    Beautiful, Sarah.

  4. Number 3 is very true. How can I enjoy what I have if I have to repent the way I got it?

  5. Interesting. Last night, while you were publishing this post, I was leading a bible study I had designed about Abraham and Sarah, and their role in God’s plan. (Part of a series called “Who’s line is it anyway.”)

    We touched on a lot of the same points.


  6. We didn’t have anyone names Sarah in the group though. 🙂

  7. That was a wonderful post. I just wish I hadn’t read the comments because now I’m tempted to call Jason “Sarah”.

  8. Dang, now I’m gonna have to go by a different name, too. Just don’t tell katdish. She’ll never let me live it down.

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