Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: BOYCOTT (11/01/18)
- TITLE: What's in a Name?
By Brad Paulson
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
Because of the widespread downturn in the Irish economy, evictions were common. Groups were forming to protest and ask for rent reductions and time extensions to catch up with rent payments. Charles was confident he could find other tenants who could and would keep current with their rent obligations so the eviction process continued. As a result, Charles Boycott became the target of an organized protest to not only refuse to occupy his properties but also to refuse to help with his farm work. The protesters were successful in forcing Boycott into financial ruin and thus, as news spread, the term Boycott became the battle cry of protesters all over Ireland and eventually the world.
We don’t really know if Charles Boycott was an evil man or a man just trying to do his job, but what we do know is that the world changed the meaning of his name. Charles had no idea that his actions in the late eighteen seventies would forever change the meaning of his name. If you look up the definition of boycott in any English dictionary you will find a definition of protest and refusal to buy or engage in business, but you are unlikely to find any mention of Charles Boycott.
This story may be an extreme example of what the world can do to our names, but in more subtle ways it is all too common. The truth is that most of us have had our names changed by the world. At any given moment you may be branded as weak, undesirable, unintelligent, and worthless. The list could go on. There are also times where the world might change our name to something positive; beautiful, wealthy etc. But even the positive names can have a negative effect because they don’t truly define who we are and are usually short lived.
The prophet Isaiah tells us of God’s people returning from exile in Babylon to a Jerusalem that was battered and bruised. Poverty and famine were rampant. The world had branded the refugees as unwanted, outcasts, and a forsaken people. But Isaiah 62 verses 1-5 tell us that God promised to give Israel a new name, Beloved, One in whom He delights.
As followers of the Lord we can claim the same promise. The names we have been called no longer apply. The only requirement from us is to believe that it can happen. The world will continue to throw insults and names at us, but they are meaningless. God has given us a new name.
Charles Boycott died penniless. His last years were difficult financially and I’m sure his reputation and name had been ruined. During the land rebellion Charles’ nephew Douglass was living with him. Douglass went on to become a man of God and, in the end, was the one that conducted the service when Charles was laid to rest. We can only speculate what some of their conversations might have been like in those last years, but I can’t help but think Isaiah 62 would have been discussed. My hope would be that when the world heaped insults on a man that was already beaten and bruised he would have been able to retort, “Say what you will about my old name, the Lord has given me a new one.”
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.