I remember the hot day blurred by the excitement of my 8th grade graduation. Many of us girls attempted our first go round in wearing high heels that were not our mothers’ that day. It was the kind of humid that morphs my hair from curls to a gentle afro. Smooth! As we celebrated in true middle school fashion none of us stayed in one place too long. I felt like everyone was calling my name. I had to rush from one spot to another to make sure I was in as many pictures as possible. After posing for a picture with my family I was summoned by one of my classmates. She said my name once, and after being annoyed with my slowness to respond she dragged out each syllable. Ann-druh-Teeeeee-shuh.
To my surprize my aunt’s head snapped in disapproval. “That is NOT your name!” The classmate called me again and my aunt interrupted her with the correct pronounciation of my name. “It’s Ahn-druh-teeee-shuh!” In a hushed tone to avoid embarrassment I whispered, “It’s okay. Everybody calls me that.” “Then everybody is saying it wrong. You better tell them your name.” I will never forget the anger in her voice, shifting from my classmate and directed straight at me. “That is NOT your name!” The finger point drilled in the words that her pinched lips barely allowed to escape. I dropped my eyes and only nodded my head. Even though I still don’t mind when people struggle to pronounce my name, I do give them the correct name to address me.
For some reason this lesson popped up in my heart today and I want to challenge your heart with this question: What name are you accepting that doesn’t belong to you? Are you responding when the enemy calls you failure, fat, hopeless, stupid, addicted, hypocrite, or any other name? I’m guilty of accepting my struggle as my definition and my temptations as my name. With the same fervor that my aunt snapped me back to reality I say to you: THAT IS NOT YOUR NAME! From now on, we have an obligation to set the record straight – rebuke every wrong label spoken over you.
Your name is a big deal!
— TeshaFritz (@teshafritz) August 11, 2016
Your real name has been given by God! Your real name is beloved. Your real name is righteous. Your real name is child of God. Your real name is walking by faith and not by sight. Your real name is victory!
It’s not what they call you that matters, it’s what you respond to! Jesus did a quick check in to see what people were saying about Him. He didn’t respond to any of the wrong names. But when Peter called Him Messiah, then He responded. It was as if He was assuring them – THAT IS MY REAL NAME (even though He asked them to keep quiet about His identity)
Follow Jesus’ lead. Respond only to His truth about you. Ignore the lies, the labels, the wrong names. God gave you the authority to teach others how to address you correctly!
What labels have you rejected? Who taught you to set the record straight? Leave a comment below.