Pudgy Paul (John 20:25)

I transferred to a new school when I was in 6th grade. I was a stranger to everyone there and I wanted to make friends and fit in. Fortunately, I soon became known by a quirky nickname-

“Pudgy Paul!”

The nickname stuck and it led to a quick acceptance and new friends. I soon entered adolescence and slimmed down considerably, but the name stuck for many years after that.

So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
John 20:25 (ESV)

Doubting Thomas. Here is another nickname that has stuck for many years, even centuries! The disciple refused to believe his Master, Jesus Christ, was resurrected and alive. Eight days later, Jesus appeared to him and the other disciples.

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20:27-29 (ESV)

Church tradition records that Thomas later became a missionary to India where he was martyred. The man who was once known as “Doubting Thomas” became one of the giants of the early Christian church.

Nicknames do stick, sometimes long after the description is no longer accurate. And if the nickname is derogatory or negative, it may never completely disappear in spite of any effort or positive accomplishments on our part.

Thankfully only God truly knows who we truly are. And the only name that matters is whether it is recorded in the Book of Life. If you have confessed your sins, repented, and accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, your salvation and eternal destiny are secure. And no nickname will ever mar or take that gift away from you.

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.