Each of us has a way we identify ourselves and our role in the world: I am a teacher, I am a mom, I am an engineer and so on. Those labels are harmless for the most part and are usually what we tell another person when meeting them for the first time.
However, there are far more insidious labels we use for ourselves that for the most part we would never share with anyone. Unfortunately these can be things that were put on us by other people, usually when we were quite young or at a vulnerable place in life. And like name tags with super-glue, they have stuck with us for life.
These are labels such as fat, ugly, trouble, no good, worthless, mean, and the list goes on. Most of us have learned how to hide these words using a variety of methods. We might work really hard to live the exact opposite of a negative label or we might give in to the label as part of our identity that it is useless to try to change. Sadly, we also can self-medicate the label away with any number of vices or addictions many of them masquerading as “good things” such as work or service.
Thankfully, there is another thing we can do to remove these labels and live in real freedom. We can allow Jesus to give us a different name. Believe it or not He has all kinds of wonderful labels He attaches to you: beloved, child of God, kind, beautiful, precious, unique, clean, pure, worthy, wise, lovely, valuable and this list goes on as well.
We simply need to be willing for Jesus to remove our old names and receive His new name for us. He promises that He will renew our minds until those old thoughts and old patterns are healed. It can be scary and difficult to trust that Jesus has anything positive to say about us, but I challenge you to just ask Him. He has been waiting for you all your life with a new name that He has chosen just for you.
“You will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow. You will be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, a royal diadem in the palm of your God.” Isaiah 62:2b-3