Remember the kid in the movie Goonies. The one who every one called “Chunk”. If you were to see his picture today you’d not easily recognize him. Granted, it is over 25 years later, but if you were to see him now you’d see he didn’t live into the name he was given.
It made me wonder, did he have to fight to get out from under the name “chunk?” Was Jeff Cohen, the boy, influenced by the name he put on as Chunk the character?
I was given a name as a kid too. I was told by a friend that I was the fattest ugliest person she’d ever known and she no longer wanted to be my friend. For years I allowed that name to shape me. I was the fat kid. Those words became more than something I once heard, they became my name and a measure for my value.
Being overweight = not being valuable.
If my friend could leave because I was “fat and ugly,” then others might leave too.
Not all names are bad though. Sometimes we’re given names that speak to deep, true things about who we are, names that reflect our Creator. I was given a second name as a child. I was told by several people in my life growing up that I was easy to love and that I loved well. This name also stuck with me. I hold on to it when I feel other voices speaking against me. It has also shaped me.
The names we give ourselves and the names we’re given by others shape us. These names shape us in ways that either reflect truth about who we are or keep us from living in truth. Take a moment to think about a name you’ve given yourself or a name that was given to you by someone in your life? Does it speak life into you or does it immediately hold a certain weight or shame?