I have been spending time studying and preaching on the prayer of Jesus found in Matthew 6. In verse 9 most translations render the phrase, “hallowed be your name.” But I don’t think many understand what that means. I am not sure why even modern translation continue to use this archaic phrase when it can be stated in a much clearer way. The HCSB does very well here with: “your name be honored as holy.”
This means that we hold God in reverence, to honor, glorify, and exalt him. There is a reverence and respect that must be maintained with our Father. This obviously goes further than just not using God’s name flippantly. Our lives must keep God’s name holy. Our actions are a reflection upon the name of God. A child always reflects upon the parent, whether to the good or to the bad. We are children and God is our Father. We either present our Father in a favorable light or in negative light. I remember my father sitting me down and explaining to me that my actions reflect upon our family, upon our reputation, upon the church, and upon God. I remembered that and did not want to do something that would tarnish the reputation of my father. Many people do things in the name of God that tarnish the reputation of God. We cannot be those kind of people. We cannot let our words and actions tarnish God. People have turned away from God, rejected God, and fallen away from God because of the actions of others who claimed to be doing the will of God. They acted like fleshly, worldly people and not like Christ. God is your Father. Do not disrespect him by tarnishing the name and ruining his reputation.
This is a life changing part of our prayer. If we are going to honor God as holy there becomes a responsibility on our part.
But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16; NLT)
As children, we learn from the Father and do his will. In fact, we have a saying that a child is “a chip off of the old block.” We mean that the child’s character is similar to the character of the father. For the Father’s name to be honored as holy demands that we be holy. We must be separated from the sinfulness of the world. We are attempting to keep ourselves away from the things in the world that are evil and that defile us.