“No matter what negative thing people have said about you, this is not what God’s name is for you. God sees much deeper than the external cards we’ve been dealt and looks into our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7). God calls us a new name based on who He sees us as, not on who others say we are. Character matters to God. Our hearts matter to God.”- Esther Fleece Allen
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”- 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)
Esther Fleece Allen moves on in Chapter 2 of Your New Name with the fourth and fifth labels that limit.
4. You are not what others call you. The word saints represents the third most common name for God’s children in the Bible. In fact, Esther notes, sixty times the New Testament refers to God’s children as saints.
However, Esther observes, even saints face criticism. While many others laugh at our names here on earth, only one vote counts: God’s. Therefore, trust your affirmation as a saint, rather than the unkind and untrue words others speak against you.
5. You are not named by what you do (or by any external qualifier). Certainly, work is important. And God’s given us the gift of work. But, we must not allow our jobs to substitute for our primary names and identities.
Furthermore, Esther acknowledges, we find it hard and scary when we go through significant job change or job loss. That gives way to feelings of insecurity about who we are and what we have to offer.
Finally, Esther offers these words of encouragement:
“God has new things for us to do and fresh things for us to become in this life. . . . God doesn’t need our performance, and many time our new names are revealed when we least expect it — in seasons of slowness, trials, and rest. . . . Be open to God giving you a name outside of your career field. We don’t need to put limits on God or on ourselves.”
Today’s question: What negative thing people have said about you sticks in your craw? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Struggle with our new name and identity”