What's on your name tag?
We have all attended events or receptions where we are asked to fill out a name tag. It’s typically pre-labeled “Hello, my name is .” And, if you are most people, you don’t hesitate to scratch on a legible version of your first name. There are, however, the sophisticated ones who properly type their entire name. And of course, the creative ones, who make sure it’s artsy and visually appealing.
When you hear certain names, you may have a preconceived thought about that person. When I mention Elvis Presley, many people think “King of Rock.” Obama is the first African-American president. Michael Jordan was the greatest basketball player of all time. Oprah is the mother of daytime television. And Billy Graham was often coined as “America’s Pastor.”
But maybe those were not your first thoughts about those people. And maybe you don’t even agree! Depending on your prospective, you characterize and judge. And we do this to ourselves.
So, what do you see when you’re looking in the mirror? Or simply put: what’s on your name tag?
One of the most difficult things for anyone to separate is the label others have put on you and the one God has said about you since before you were born.
For many in addiction, labels have come to define you:
There is power in words. Just like a spark can cause a wildfire, the tongue can kill. And there is almost nothing more damaging than erasing someone’s self identity, worth and purpose through labels like this.
But as I Corinthians 10:13 says: “if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” This isn’t a command: it’s your identity!
Just like an old name tag that’s been stuck on your jacket for too long begins to wear off and lose its stick, our old labels fade because of who we are in Christ. It takes effort and consistency to shift your , but each day, whenever that cheap name tag reminds you of your past, remind yourself of your future and your newfound identity.
“Addict” “Healed and freed” (I Peter 2:24)
“Junkie” “Redeemed” (I John 5:5)
“Druggie” “Victorious” (I Cor. 15:57)
“Alcoholic” “Delivered” (Ephesians 2:24)
“Unwanted” “You are Mine” (Isaiah 43:1)
“Unlovable” “I loved you at your darkest” (Romans 5:8)
This is your identity.
This is who you are when you are sitting alone at the lunch table.
This is who you are when you’ve lost a relationship.
This is who you are when you feel like no one notices you.
This is who you are when you just relapsed back in addiction.
No matter how you feel today, who you used to be or what you are going through, your identity in your loving Father is who you are for all eternity. Because Jesus died and rose again for the forgiveness of your sins, when you received His sacrifice as gift to you, you instantly became His.
This is who you are.