I've been called by many names in my lifetime. Nicknames like Rach, Rae or Cricket. I've been called champion, All-American, ambassador, athletic, healthy and creative. I've also been called names I don't wish to repeat.
I believe names have meaning, names have a distinct purpose. Before we are born our parents mull over name after name until they settle on our unique name. Those names have a specific meaning. My parents settled on Rachel Katelyn, meaning "lamb," and "bright one."
In fact, the first job God gives Adam is to name all the creatures (Genesis 2:19-20). Throughout the Word, God gives names to His people. He called Abram, Abraham (Genesis 17:5); Sarai, Sarah (Genesis 17:15-16); Jacob, Israel (Genesis 35:10); Simon, Peter (John 1:42); and Saul, Paul (Acts 13:9). It would seem that when we give others names, these names have a way of sticking around – whether those names are positive or negative.
Names can become identities. By calling someone lazy, ugly, stupid or worthless, they can start to believe they truly are lazy, ugly, stupid or worthless. We are so quick to forget what Christ calls us … what names Christ has given us.
I speak from personal experience. I have believed lies about my identity based on names others have placed upon me, but let me share with you what I found. What Christ calls me … and you.
- A child of God (John 1:12),
- A branch of the vine (John 15:1-5),
- Justified/Redeemed (Romans 3:24),
- Alive in Christ (Romans 6:6-11),
- Heirs with Christ (Romans 8:16-17),
- More than conquerors (Romans 8:37),
- Sanctified/Saint (1 Corinthians 1:2),
- A new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17),
- Temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:16),
- Sons and daughters (2 Corinthians 6:18),
- God's workmanship (Ephesians 2:10), and my personal favorite
- Beloved (Song of Solomon 2:16).
Matthew West, recorded an amazing song to help remind us of who Christ calls us. Listen and watch that here: https://youtu.be/omMoLBKzgjU.
For the last few weeks, I've been trying to memorize Scripture, by using these gorgeous scripture memory cards. Every week, I place a new verse on my refrigerator, but the below verse has been on my fridge for weeks because I find its truth so refreshing and beautiful:
"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who will unveiled faces reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:17-18, NIV).Reread this verse. We are made in His image. And, if we are in Christ, we will reflect His glory and are being transformed more and more into His likeness. So I leave you with this thought, if we as Christians reflect our Father, why would we assign each other names unsuitable for God's people? Instead, why don't we affirm and remind each other of who Christ calls us.