Before I was born my mother had an impression from God to name me Timothy. The Greek origin means “to honor God,” or “honoring God.” My father wanted to name me after him, but my mother insisted on Timothy. So to compromise, my mother agreed on my dad’s middle name, Troy. So my complete name is Timothy Troy Thomas.
I have been called many names. Some are not worth repeating, but the most common names are as follows:
- Timmy T
- Timmy Tim
- Timmy Tim Tim
- Timmy Tres
- Timbo the Bimbo
- Slim Tim
- Tim Tim
My mom hates all of these names. She always preferred the original: Timothy. But none of the nicknames ever really bothered me. In fact, when I started rapping in high school, I created my own nick/stage name , “Triple T,” which eventually turned into “T3.”
Now, there is nothing unique looking nor sounding about Timothy Thomas at first sight and sound. It looks and feels generic. People probably assume I’m a white guy before seeing me. As I have aged, however, I introduce myself as Timothy. People immediately ask, “Do you go by Tim or Timothy?” Other people don’t bother asking. “Hi, nice to meet you. My name is Timothy.” “Nice to meet you Tim.” So when people ask what I like to go by, I tell them I don’t care.
I sold myself on not caring because I consider it pointless to give a preferred name nobody calls me by. But as God has taught me more about myself, and who he calls me, I care more. My name is a part of my identity.
I am a lower middle-class married black man. I teach, coach, write, and blog. I work and live in a majorly white suburban area of Fort Worth, Texas. Most of my friends and co-workers are white. I am a covenant member at The Village Church, which is also predominately white. I can write music, articles, spoken word, and designs. I commit sins. I commit to Godward satisfaction in faith-driven actions.
All these things are a part of me. My identity is in Jesus Christ– but all these characteristics are just as much a part of my Christian identity. I was not created by accident. I have purpose. I am uniquely crafted with various desires, gifts, talents, abilities, and levels of enthusiasm that I use to honor God.
And that is what I will do with this blog. I will fall short, but I will aim to honor God.
So I prefer you call me Timothy– but I won’t be offended if you call me Tim. Three syllables can be a mouthful.