What Is Your Name?
What’s your name? No, I’m not asking about the name your parents gave you or the name on your driver’s license. I’m talking about the name you use when you talk to yourself. (EVERYBODY talks to themselves!)
What’s the name you use?
When you made a math error that meant you suddenly have less money in your checking account than you thought — what do you call yourself? When you forgot to stop and get something at the store, or made the same stupid mistake …again…what do you call yourself?
Is the name a put down?
Is it vulgar?
Is it a name that you would never call anyone else?
Where did that name come from?
Most likely it came from some kind of life moment when you disappointed someone and in frustration and anger, the name stuck. This name—this put down—then becomes a weapon against you when you try to respond to Christ working in your life. When you sense the invitation from Christ, your mind begins to work against you.
“Hey, stupid (fill in the name you use for yourself), why would Jesus want to hang around someone like you?” “Why do you think He could do anything in your life?”
“You screw up everything.” (then follows a long list of all of your mistakes to prove the point).
As a result of this self-bullying inner dialogue, you never respond to Jesus at all. You talk yourself out of it. You simply don’t give Jesus a chance to work.
And it all starts with the name you call yourself. How can you change it? The bad news is you can’t. The good news is Jesus can.
Have you ever noticed how many times someone’s name changes when they have a divine encounter? This is not an accident. “If anyone be in Christ,” Paul writes, “he is a new creation.” And this new creation, this new person, has a new name. Now, you may have the same name on your driver’s license, but you will have a new name inside.
In Acts 10, Peter has a vision. Food is placed before Peter and he is told to eat. When Peter responds saying that the food is unclean, Jesus answers, “What God has created, you don’t call common.” The vision was getting Peter ready to preach to Gentiles, people he considered unclean. Lesson: what God has created (and that’s you), we don’t dare judge or call unclean. That goes for self-incrimination as well.
As a child of Christ, you are loved and cherished…your name should reflect your place in God’s family — the church. When I go home to see my parents, Mom will call me “Michael.” (She’s the only person in my life who calls me by that name). Dad will call me, “Boy,” as in, “Hey, Boy! What took you so long to get here?” Those names tell me who I am in the family.
Where does this name come from? The only place it’s ever come from… Jesus himself. The next time you pray, listen. Really listen. Hear the name Jesus uses when He calls you.
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