The Truth

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Many wonder why the American continents aren’t named after Christopher Columbus, the man who “discovered” these lands. Why are they called “America” instead? The answer provides insights into how reputations are formed and decisions are made.

In 1495, Italian businessman Amerigo Vespucci took over a business in Seville, Spain, which had furnished supplies to ships voyaging to the West Indies. Not content just to hear about these lands, he decided to explore them for himself. He left for his first journey on this day in 1497, targeting the South America coast.

Later, Vespucci wrote an account of his journeys. In 1507, this was translated into German by geographer and cartographer Martin Waldseemüller, who suggested that it might be proper to name the new continent “America,” after Vespucci. The name first applied only to the southern continent, but eventually was applied to both North and South America.

The lives of these men illustrate a common pattern. Regardless of the facts, reputations often are formed by subjective opinions. Over time, some who deserved credit have been overlooked, while the “wrong” people have been praised. Ironically, today we honor Columbus with a special day, while few know anything about Vespucci.

Paul wrote to Timothy that although our “good works” sometimes are seen by others, at other times our actions are not obvious and must “follow later.” But God knows the truth. He has seen what we have done. And He will make sure each person gets the appropriate reward, in His time.

Ask God to search your heart. Are you living for Him? Are you trusting Him? Are you seeking the approval of people or seeking first God’s Kingdom? Remember: In the end, only His opinion matters. Seek to please Him!