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Labels and Names

Who are you?
How do you label yourself?

For me, I usually introduce myself as Andrea. If I’m filling out an online bio section of a social media website, I typically add something like, “child/daughter of God, family gal, writer, reader, sports fan.” Sometimes I get wordier, lengthier, and type up an entire monologue about being Texan born and bred and wishing for snow in the winter or how I’m a dog lover without a dog (maybe I should write country music songs…).

You get the idea.

I wonder, though, if I’m hitting the right mark. I wonder if any of us nail it right the first time or if we figure it out with trial and error.

Take a look at how apostle Paul defined himself in Romans 1:1…

“Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle and singled out for God’s good news.” (HCSB)

He gave his name, his label (“slave of Christ Jesus”), his calling/occupation (“apostle”), and his personal spiritual calling (“singled out for God’s good news”).

So what does this mean for us and how we label ourselves?

I’m not sure I fully understand it myself, but one thing I know:

We should be careful how we label ourselves. Stick to the truth God gives us about who we are.

For instance, just because a person is struggling with the sin of lying does not mean he or she must label themselves a liar. It might describe them in their current state, but who are they at the deeper spiritual level rather than that surface label?

I do think it’s important for us to find the way of escape from our temptations and sins, as described in 1 Corinthians 10:13 (“but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it”).

I also think it’s crucial that we learn to label, name, and even see ourselves the way God intends for us to.

Here are just a few examples of who God says we are, if we are saved by the grace His Son provided at Calvary (all verses borrowed from my HCSB Bible):

Child of God

“But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name.”

John 1:12

Friend of Jesus

“I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from My Father.”

John 15:15b

Justified and Redeemed

“They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

Romans 3:24

Accepted

“Therefore accept one another, just as the Messiah [Jesus] also accepted you, to the glory of God.”

Romans 15:7

Adopted by God

“In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself [God the Father], according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved.”

Ephesians 1:4b-6

Redeemed and Forgiven

“We have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.”

Ephesians 1:7

What other verses help us know who we are to God our Father?

This website has a lengthy list of who we are in Jesus, if you need help finding more verses or are curious as to what the Bible says about who you are in God’s eyes.

If you really are what and who God says you are in these verses (and if you’re a born-again Christian, you really and truly are, my friend), how do those labels and names change or alter your perspective on who you are? Does it change how you introduce yourself (in person or online)? Does it change how you see yourself in your daily life?

We’re at the start of a new year (Hello, 2020!), so let’s rethink how we define ourselves stepping into this brand-new decade.

Here are a few songs that go with our “labels and names” theme. Enjoy!

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