The Lampstand

My best try at salt and light. Matthew 5:13-16

Hello My Name Is

Hello, my name is regret
I’m pretty sure we have met
Every single day of your life
I’m the whisper inside
That won’t let you forget

Hello, my name is defeat
I know you recognize me
Just when you think you can win
I’ll drag you right back down again
‘Til you’ve lost all belief

These are the voices, these are the lies…

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever been called?

Mistake.
B****.
Manipulator.
Two-faced.

I’ve been called multiple things by multiple people, and it’s messed me up for awhile now, as I’m sure you’ve also been messed up by the things you’ve been called.  You start to wonder if you’re really who other people say you are, and, as a result, you end up dealing with issues of self-worth and identity. The closer the accuser is to you, the more it hurts.  I think I was hurt the most by a former best friend who called me a manipulator simply because I wanted to get the other side of the story they were telling me.  I still have that text message, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget how I felt so empty the first time I read it. But as I go further through life, I realize more and more that I am not defined by others’ perceptions of me, and neither are you!

Notice I didn’t call the above insults “names”, or maybe you didn’t notice at all, which is totally okay. A name is a word or term that is used for classification and/or identification. Do you see the equation here?  Those aren’t names because they don’t define you! Some of you reading may think that was really lame, but I got really excited over it!

Names are HUGE in the Bible.  When a child was born, it was all about the name.  For example:
  • “Jacob”, named by his parents, means “liar”.  “Israel”, named by God, means “He contends with God”, a testament to Jacob’s wrestling match with Him.
  • “Simon”, named by his parents, roughly translates into “He has heard of my suffering”. “Peter”, named by God, became the rock of the early Christian church.
  • And then there’s Jabez, who is mentioned in only two lines of scripture, 1 Chronicles 4:9-11.  His name means, “I bore him in pain”. He prayed to God, and while he didn’t get an awesome name change, he was granted blessings that contradicted how his own family felt about him.

As you can tell from these examples, how people feel about us isn’t nearly as important as how God feels about us. They call you a “mistake”, He calls you “wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).  They call you “failure”, He calls you “redeemed” (Ephesians 1:7).  They call you “trash”, He calls you “treasured” (John 3:16,17). They call you “guilty”, He calls you “forgiven” (Colossians 1:21,22). We’re all human, and we have a limited view. We bring up others’ pasts or negative traits to make ourselves look or feel better, whereas Jeremiah 29:11 says that God wants “to give you a future”, not a past, so quit living in the past that people keep you in, and step into the future that He’s preparing for you!

People’s feelings toward you will change, but God’s love for you will not.

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 3:38.39

…And I have believed them, for the very last time
Hello, my name is child of the one true King
I’ve been saved, I’ve been changed, and I have been set free
“Amazing Grace” is the song I sing
Hello, my name is child of the one true King

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