I process best out loud. In college I studied best in a group. If I was left to study alone I was a mess! Get me together with a study group and things were clicking, I was more able to organize, I remembered more and retained more.
So, as I’m reading this reading plan in my YouVersion Bible app, sometimes I feel the need to process here.
The particular study I read was about the book of Ruth. More specifically, about Naomi in the book of Ruth.
Naomi lost her husband, then both of her sons. In that time, if you didn’t have a man, you had nothing! She was in bad shape after losing her husband and sons. She did, however, have two very devoted daughters-in-law. They wanted to stay with Naomi after their husbands died. One did eventually go back to her family (after much pleading from Naomi to do so), but Ruth stayed with Naomi. She left her own family, her “gods”, her everything and stayed with Naomi and adopter her faith.
As Naomi and Ruth entered the land and people Naomi was from, she renamed herself. She asked everyone to call her Mara meaning “bitter”. She felt that God had brought such tragedy in her life that she needed to rename herself.
This got me thinking about the names we rename ourselves:
I don’t know about you, but I have used many of those names on myself. Some of us have probably been called some of those names to our faces! Repeatedly. Others we repeat to ourselves over and over and over. They become our identity. We believe wholeheartedly that those are the words that characterize and describe us. They become our names.
But what if….
What if we looked at the names we SHOULD be naming ourselves?
It’s so much easier to accept these negative names. We look at our lives, our choices, our circumstances and, like Naomi, think, “God has dealt me this hand. God did this to me. I did this to myself. So why shouldn’t I be named __________?”
And yes, our choices in life do come with consequences. And sometimes the choices of OTHERS affect our lives and our circumstances greatly.
But what if……
What if we work to look through our circumstances, what if we fight those names and look at what God calls us? The names He gives us KNOWING FULL WELL what we have done and what has been done to us?
WORTHY OF GREAT SACRIFICE
DAUGHTER OF THE KING
SON OF THE MOST HIGH
CREATED WITH A PURPOSE
SEEN BY THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE
Why is it so much easier to hear, accept, and take on the names from the first list?
The names from the second list are our true identities!
Can we help each other rename ourselves with our TRUE names?
But if we treat each other as if these are their names, maybe we can help each other to retain our true, God-given identities. Who knows, you might actually change someone’s life!
YOU are God’s beloved, cherished child! Live like it! And treat others as such! Let’s change our names!