When you were a child, did you love writing your name over and over, maybe using a rainbow of markers or different pens? When your teacher reminded you to write your name at the top of your paper, was this something you sat up a little straighter to do, holding your mouth just right so that you could write your name perfectly? I wonder: how many times do you think we’ve written our names so far in our lifetime? Or said our own name while introducing ourselves to someone, checking in for an appointment, paying a bill, reserving a table at a restaurant?
To be sure, our name carries a pretty heavy responsibility. On the surface, our name defines us in many ways. Our parents put in a great deal of time coming up with the perfect combination of names before we were born, making sure the names “fit” together when saying them out loud.
But what about the names, or identities, we’ve been given apart from our birth name. My nickname is “Peanut”. If my Daddy ever calls my “Windy” I know I am in big trouble! He rarely ever calls me by my birth name. Nicknames are typically endearing and given to us from a place of love and affirmation.
Then there are those names and identities placed on us that aren’t so welcomed. Names other people have branded us with or names that we may have brought on ourselves. Names we have tried to shake off and worked hard to overcome. Perhaps there are names and labels that we’ve heard for so long that we’ve conceded to them and now we’ve given this negative name room to stick around and make itself right at home in our heart and in our spirit.
In our upcoming series, Our Given Name(s), we’ll take a look at our name, the names we wear in our heart, and see how these align with who our heavenly Father says we are. Are we living up to the name He has given us? My Beloved. Child of The King. Brothers and Sisters in Christ. I look forward to walking through this series with you as we take a closer look at who we are in Christ and how we are embracing that name.