TODAY'S WORD 4U 2DAY
How change happens (5)‘The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered.’ Genesis 32:27 NIV
Change happens through challenge. The name Jacob means ‘he grasps the heel’ which was also interpreted to mean cheater or deceiver. This name was given to him at birth, and the label seemed to stick. His brother Esau, in his anger, exclaimed ‘Isn’t he rightly named Jacob? This is the second time he has taken advantage of me: He took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing’ (Genesis 27:36 NIV). People can judge us and label us because of what we’ve done or what’s happening in our lives. We can be labelled ‘hopeless’; ‘worthless’; ‘weak’… We might even label ourselves. And those labels can stick. If we’re not careful, they can start to influence our actions too. When we believe that the label is true, we can behave in a way that matches our label. But this doesn’t have to be the case. We don’t have to be defined by other people. Our label can be changed. We just have to challenge it rather than accept it. When Jacob was wrestling with the man of God, it ended with God changing his name. ‘Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome’ (Genesis 32:28 NIV). God removed Jacob’s label. And when we challenge the identity other people have given us, God can remove our labels too. The Bible is full of truths about our real identity in God and examples of how He uses people, whatever their background. We don’t need to be hindered in our work for God, by other people’s labels for us. Instead we need to challenge them with God’s truth. He says that we’re His children. And God’s label is the only label that matters.
Get some bits of paper and write positive things that people have said about you. Fold them up and put them in a jar. Every time you feel negative about yourself, pick one and read it.