Several years ago, I met a woman who introduced herself as her nickname. We met at church and she was changing her life from being deeply imbedded in an ungodly lifestyle to becoming like Jesus. Her nickname very much reflected her former lifestyle. I inquired as to her “real” name. The one she had been given when she was born. She shared it with me and from then on, I addressed her by her name instead of her nickname.
As I thought about this the other day, I thought, how many of us go through life asking to be called by a different name or allowing others to call us by the name they have chosen.
My given name is not, Grace. It is true. No part of my given name is Grace. It is a nickname my mom gave me as a toddler because she says I was/am accident prone and needed some grace. I cannot remember a time in my life when I was not called Grace. I think really my name should have been Casey Grace instead of Casey Diane, although Casey Diane does sound better together. My parents named me after two streets in south Austin that run side by side. At the time they were choosing names, my dad was studying for his firefighter’s exam and he was memorizing streets. (Good thing he studied, he became a firefighter and drove one of those trucks….also explains why he is so good at driving a huge a RV rig). Casey means brave. I like that because I haven’t always been brave…yet no matter how fearful I may be, by my very nature I am brave.
The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the LORD will name. -Isaiah 62:2
I love this scripture…because God has given me a name. The name He has given me holds more meaning than any name anyone else has given me.
Remember that old saying we would say as kids….”I am rubber, you are glue, what you say bounces off me and sticks on you”? I wouldn’t go as far as saying, “you are glue”, but I am rubber. Your labels cannot stick to me. God has named me.
Interestingly, I do believe that the names we are given at birth do hold meaning (hey, if your name is Calvin-which means “bald”-you can disregard this).
It seems the names we give ourselves are often the most harmful. Sure the names other give us can be devastating but truthfully, they mean nothing until we agree and use them ourselves. Ultimately, decide who gets to name us.
Who is naming you? It’s time to put aside the “old” name and find out who God says you are. He wants to name you. He wants to give you His last name and all the benefits that come with having His name.
When the daughter of a president or royalty walks in, it means nothing until she reveals who she is (unless she is recognizable). It isn’t her name that opens the door; it is her family name; her dad’s name. That is the power of a name. That name provides the covering. The bodyguards following her around, aren’t following her because of who she is, but because of who she is related to.
The dangerous thing about some nicknames is they make us forget who we were born to be; they skew our identity. It may be time to give up that nickname and remember who God says you are….