“They call me girl
They call me Stacey
They call me her
They call me Jane
That’s not my name” ~ The Ting Tings – That’s not my name
Several years ago the song That’s not my name by The Ting Tings became quite a hit, with its catchy chorus of “That’s not my name” repeated over and over again. The basic premise of the song was it was a response to all the insults and put downs that had been thrown at the singer over the years, and this was her saying they she refused to let them stick and define her, they would not become her name.
In life that’s something that happens all the time. People try to give us names all over the place. If you don’t make the grades they’ll call you an idiot. If you can’t make the shot on the sports field they’ll call you hopeless. If you’re a girl and you hook up with too many guys they’ll call you easy whereas if you are a guy and you hook up with too many girls they’ll call you a player. Score the goal and you’re a legend, miss and you’re a failure. The world throws all sorts of names at us, and you have probably thrown plenty of names back at others too.
But God doesn’t want the names the world gives us to define us. He does not know us as “Failure” or “Screw-up” or “Spotty” or “Playboy”. In the book of Revelation Jesus tells us that God has name waiting for us “And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.” Revelation 2:17. God chose us from the beginning of time (Ephesians 1:11) and made plans “for good and not for disaster, to give [us] a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11). George McDonald says “Who can give a man this, his own name? God alone. For no one but God sees what the man is.” Do not let the world define you. Let God give you your new name, and know that it is not really ‘new’, for he had it planned right from the very start.
Know that when you let God define who you are you are not a failure. You are not a mistake. You are not hopeless. You are not too far gone. You are loved.
Let that sink in.
No matter what the world tries to tell you, you are loved and you matter to God. He calls you child.
We know we are loved for God sent his son to die for us so we can be adopted into God’s family. “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1
We are children of God.
That is our identity.
That is what defines us.
That is who we are.