Hello, My Name Is…
“But now, this is what the Lord says—He who created you, [insert your name], He who formed you, [inset your name]: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine’”.
~ Isaiah 43:1 (NIV)
Friend to Friend
Recently, my friend was asked to speak during chapel time at the elementary school where she works. She began by asking for three volunteers, each of whom were assigned a “name,” unbeknownst to them, by way of a sign held up behind them. The opening game required her volunteers to ask numerous questions of their peers in order to solve the mystery of their assigned name. When each participant finally discovered their fictitious identity, some were happy (Bill Gates, Taylor Swift) while others were disappointed (Daffy Duck). My friend began to explain to the children that when we go through life, other people will try to put labels on us and call us names that may be far from the truth—lazy, ugly, klutzy, dumb. The only names that we should allow to stick to us, she told the children, are the ones assigned to us by Jesus: beloved, precious, chosen…
Afterwards, my friend and I were talking about her message and she told me that she has often struggled with willingly adopting other peoples’ labels for herself (and even adopting a few self-prescribed, confidence-weakening ones, as well). This led to a long battle with insecurity.
Our conversation got me thinking back over my own life experiences. I, too, had inaccurate labels that people tried to attach to me and many hurtful names hurled at me—by my peers, my teachers, and even by my parents. Yet, for some reason, they didn’t stick. I have gone through most of my life with a strong sense of self-confidence. When first considering why this was, I tried to stick a couple of labels on myself: maybe I was just “cocky,” or I “lacked sensitivity.” But the Lord was quick to interrupt me.
You see, the Lord reminded me that, in contrast to my friend, I grew up attending a Bible preaching/teaching church. It was there that I learned how precious I was in the eyes of the Lord and that my Heavenly Father loved me so fiercely that He sent Jesus to die for my sins. This Jesus became my personal Savior when I was twelve years old. So, when I asked Jesus (the only accurate label maker) how it was that I always had a strong sense of who I was, He led me to this conclusion:
I know who I am…because YOU [Jesus] know who I am.
I know who I am…because I know the great I AM!
When you know who you ARE, friend, you can be confident about who you are NOT.
In Today’s Truth, we are told that Jesus calls us BY NAME, and some of the labels (nicknames, if you will) he uses above to describe us are: REDEEMED and MINE.
If you find you struggle with insecurity on an ongoing basis, or even if you have an on-again, off-again relationship with your own self-confidence, consider that you may have a number of labels, names, and identities that are stuck to you which have NO business being on your person!
Dear Lord, I confess that I have often been quick to accept other people’s opinions of me without first asking You if they have any truth to them. Lord, help me to rightly judge my character in light of Your truth and let me be quick to fully accept all of the beautiful labels You have already made for me to wear.
In Your precious and holy NAME, Jesus, I pray,
Now It's Your Turn
Take some time to get alone with the Lord and ask him to help you to identify all the negative/false labels you have claimed ownership of over the years. Write them down in list form. Next, ask for/search for scriptures that shine “truth rebuttals” over the lies you’ve held onto. Record them right alongside the false names, crossing out the lie and highlighting the truth. Girlfriend, make this the year that you do not allow anyone, except your Heavenly Father, to label you!
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Girlfriends in God
Recently, my friend was asked to speak during chapel time at the elementary school where she works.