Have you ever worn one of these nametags before? They’re pretty awesome. All you have to do is fill in your name and that little sticker will identify you to the world. “Hello, my name is Caitlyn.”
Your name is one of the most important parts of you. It’s usually the first thing everyone learns about you. Your last name even tells about the family that you are a part of. Your name gives you your identity and your place in the world.
But when it comes down to it, what I write on my nametag is just a word. A bigger question would be, what’s behind that name? Who is Caitlyn, really?
If name represents identity, then when what is my true identity? Who am I really, deep down at the core? What is my Name, my soul’s Name?
If you asked me, “Who is Caitlyn?” I might answer, “I am nineteen years old and the oldest of four kids. I am a student, an actor, a writer, a dancer, and a youth group leader. I am average height and rather skinny and pale. I like to read fantasy books, watch crime dramas, and eat chocolate.”
Did I just tell you who I am? I certainly described myself in a lot of different ways, but how many of those actually define me? Are they part of my Name? What really makes up your core identity?
Different things in your life will give you many different names. Sports might tell you you’re an amazing athlete, or you’re a terrible athlete. School might tell you that you’re a good student, or you’re a bad student. Advertising might tell you you’re not thin enough or not trendy enough. The list goes on.
People love to tell you your name. In your school, you might be named “the smart girl,” “the band geek,” “the beauty queen,” “the rich girl,” “the foster kid,” “the goody-goody.” You might have been called “ugly,” or “worthless,” or “slut.” People are really good at calling other people all kinds of things.
In between all that, it’s easy to get confused. It’s easy to start accepting those names and begin calling yourself those things. Or maybe you’re the kind of person who knows not to believe every label she’s given, but isn’t sure which ones are good to believe. You know there’s got to be more to who you are, but having a hard time figuring out what it is.
You see, we can’t do without an identity. We need to know who we are.
We need to know our Name.
So where do we start?
In my mind, there’s only one place to start that makes any sense at all. Start with God. Who does God say you are? He is King of the whole universe! He created you. If anyone knows who you are, it’s him.
So let’s start there. You are God’s creation, perfectly formed by his hands. (Psalm 139:13-14)
You are the daughter of God.
Romans 8:14-15 - Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons [and daughters] of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."
You are the bride of Christ.
Song of Solomon 4:9 - You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.
You are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 3:16 - Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?
You are a friend of Christ.
John 15:15 - I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
You are chosen by God, holy and dearly loved.
Colossians 3:12 - Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
You are a foreigner on earth and a citizen of heaven.
1 Peter 2:11 - Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
Philippians 3:20 - But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.
You are more than a conqueror though Christ.
Romans 8:37 - No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
You are one of a chosen generation, a royal priest hood, a holy nation.
1 Peter 2:9 - But you are a chosen people, a royal priest hood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
And that just scratches the surface! The Bible is full of affirmations of God’s love for you and the identity he has given you. And what he says about you is far more important that what people say about you, or even what you say about yourself. If those things are nagging whispers, then God’s answer is a fantastic clap of thunder that shakes the earth and shatters the lies. Just like nothing can stand in the way of God’s power, nothing can stand in the way of God’s Name for you.
No matter what, you can stand firm in this truth. In God’s eyes, you are a warrior bride, a royal princess, infinitely beloved and chosen by him to change the world.
This is your identity. This is your Name.