I realized this morning that in addition to the birth names we are given, people tend to pick up other names as they go through ugly experiences in life; and they gradually assimilate these names into their identities. For example, let’s say that a boy was named “John” when he was born. At some point in his life, John learned that he had diabetes. In maturity, he began to battle depression; and now today, he is unemployed. So, in addition to identifying himself by saying, “I am John,” he also says “I am Diabetic,” or “I am Clinically Depressed,” and even more, “I am Unemployed.” Subconsciously, he has incorporated the names that life has given him into his identity. And as he continues to claim these names, his life will always exhibit their characteristics. People playfully say that you are what you eat, but in reality, you are what you say you are.
Lately, I have been tempted to pick up a few names because of certain things in my life that I am unsatisfied with. I have pondered on them so much that I woke up feeling extremely low this morning. But a strong knowing came to me today. I serve, and I am eternally loved by a savior, Jesus, whose name is above every other name; and when I mention his name, every knee – and every other name – must bow (Philippians 2: 9 -10). This promise gives me hope. I realized that I can submit my ugly names to Him and watch them disappear as He saves me. He has done this for me before, and He will surely do it again.
I trust that I am not only one with a name that needs to be submitted to Christ. If you are willing to believe he is your savior, you have a right to expect him to fulfill this promise in your life. First, acknowledge the name (there’s no shame in doing that), then submit it to Him and watch Him work. It may not disappear instantly, but as you follow His voice speaking to your heart, the ugly names surely bow. No unpleasant name is permanent once He begins to handle it.
He certainly has taken upon himself our suffering
and carried our sorrows,
He was wounded for our rebellious acts.
He was crushed for our sins.
He was punished so that we could have peace,
and we received healing from his wounds – Isaiah 53: 4 -5
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