Identity

13 November 2019
‘His mother named him Jabez.’

When our parents give us a name, it’s usually because they like the name or it means something to them. In the Bible, names were reflective of people’s identity. The name Jabez means ‘pain and trouble’ and that would have labelled him for his whole life. But Jabez refused to wear the label or let that name define him. Instead of looking back at his past and listening to his critics, he turned to God and prayed: ‘Please do good things for me and give me more land. Stay with me, and don’t let anyone hurt me. Then I won’t have any pain’ (v.10 NCV). Our name might not have that much meaning to us, but we can easily listen to the labels that other people place on us. We can forget who God has created us to be, and believe labels such as ‘not good enough,’ ‘unlovable,’ ‘ugly,’ ‘worthless,’ and ‘failure.’ Once we accept the label other people place on us, we start to believe that’s who we are and we think that we’ll never be anything more than that. But only God can tell us who we are. He created us. He redeemed us. He calls us. He equips us. He empowers us. He blesses us. When people try to limit us by putting labels on us, we need to remember that God says, ‘Don’t be afraid, because I have saved you. I have called you by name, and you are mine’ (Isaiah 43:1 NCV). He calls us His children. No matter how we feel about ourselves, or what labels others have placed on us, we’re loved and accepted by Him. Let’s never forget that we are who He says we are.   

 

What Now?

Listen to the song ‘Who you say I am’ by Hillsong Worship. Spend some time asking God to help you believe who He says you are. 

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