We are all given names by external sources. There are constantly voices telling us who we are, labeling us as this or that – giving us names. We have a choice to hear the name and put it on like a jersey so everyone knows it belongs to us, or reject the name, giving it little to no power over us.
Knowing what to reject and what should be worn takes trust, time, work, discipline, help and decisiveness. We hear a name and we must decide what do to with it. We have to have something that serves as our foundation. Something we trust that serves as the source of our value, so that when we come against the words of others or the world around us, we know how to determine whether or not the name we’ve been given speaks to our value. We must have something on which we base our value, a source.
In the story of creation all things were made then, man was made. Man was made differently. No matter what your scientific belief of creation is, one thing we can all agree on is that man is different from all other species. In the Biblical narrative, man was created by God and created in His image. This idea speaks volumes to the base or source of our value as humans.
God valued you and I so very much that He crafted us to be made in His likeness. That is pretty great stuff. We were created to put on the jersey with our name and the logo of God.
The source of our value is the place where we are able to test out the names we’re given along the way. Jesus says that we have an enemy and that enemy seeks to kill, steal and destroy. You and I know that enemy well. He is the one who screams at us telling us we’re lazy, good for nothings or fat, ugly and worthless. He is the one who says things like, you’re not an athlete so you’ll never amount to much or you’re not smart and won’t accomplish anything. These names kill our spirit, steal from our joy and truly can be so destructive that they can destroy our lives.
But that is not the end of Jesus’ thought. He says, “The THIEF comes to kill steal and destroy, but I HAVE COME that you might have LIFE and abundant life at that!” Okay, now that is a better picture. Jesus basically tells us, I think you are worth a whole bunch. I took part in creating you, I made you beautifully and wonderfully and you are not junk! In fact you are so valuable that I am going to continually pour life into you – abundant, good and rich life.
Now this is great in theory but what does it look like in practice?
1. Decide what the source of your value is going to be and TRUST it. (HINT: when value is found in an understanding that you and I were created in the image of God and that we belong to Him and that He gave His only son Jesus to breathe life continually into us, it is a foundation that will never ever crumble. Jesus says that two people built houses, one built their house on the sand and the other on the rock. When the storms came and the winds blew and the waves crashed, the house on the sand crumbled to the ground, but the house on the rock stood firm. Deciding what you are going to use as your base, your source of value is crucial and life altering. If it is out side of Jesus, you might find your house crashing to the ground)
2. Take the TIME to note what your source of value tells you about who you are and your value. In my case that means I need to know what God and Jesus think of me. I need to know what my foundation is built upon. I make lists. I have conversations and I learn from people who things a bit more figured out.
3. When you have words spoken over you or any time you hear the words, you are so or you’re such, or oh you’re just… ANY TIME you hear those words, STOP and repeat them to yourself. Then do the WORK: Do they give you life? Do they kill steal or destroy. Weigh your options. This may takes a split second or it might take a bit longer even a few days.
4. If you can’t figure it out alone, invite someone into it with you. Invite them to help you. Tell them the words spoken and ask if there is any truth to the words)
4. Make a decision. Are the words true or are they false.
5. Live out of truth.
Being able to wade through the sea of voices speaking into us, over us and around us is a difficult yet crucial thing to our own personal development. We must choose wisely the voices to whom we’ll listen and the words we will wear as names. We must know the source of our value to discern what is truth and what is a lie.
What have you placed your value in? Does it shift? Is it based on something that will always lead to abundant life?
Describe what you’ve learned about getting out from under the names you’ve been given.