My daughter Kate recently sent me the link to a podcast she wanted me to listen to, saying it was “life-changing.”
Let’s be clear, anytime a fifteen-year-old girl tells you that something is life-changing and it doesn’t include Lululemon, you take note.
Your “incredible purpose”
Sadie asked, “What’s the best advice you have ever been given?”
Emma Jenkins responded with her Mom’s advice: “You will never live out the incredible purpose God has for your life if you fear people.”
They go on to talk about the importance of knowing our identity in the Lord and not allowing the negative talk of others to redefine who God says we are.
A profound moment came when Emma said, “People who call you names, they themselves don’t know their name.”
This was obviously a relevant word for my daughter in the throes of high school and all that goes along with the teenage years and figuring out who you are. But it’s also a great message for all of us since we’re often only one snarky remark away from our junior high battle wounds.
I wonder, do you know your name?
Who are you?
Fearing people or, more specifically, fearing what people think of us, hinders God’s ability to use our lives for the greater purposes he planned before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10).
It also keeps us from loving those around us well because we are so easily offended. We forget who we are.
David wrote Psalm 139 later in his life. It’s been said that David wrote this particular Psalm because he knew how important it was for us to fully grasp who we are to God. Because when we truly understand our value to God, it can’t help but impact how we live our lives.
If you haven’t read through all of Psalm 139 recently, you need to do that. But here are some of the highlights.
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Are you getting this?
The Lord uniquely and intentionally designed us in our mother’s womb (v. 13). And, in doing so, we were created fearfully and wonderfully (v. 14). There’s no place we can go where he is not with us (vv. 7–10), and he ordained our days before one of them came into being (v. 16).
Said differently, he created us and chose us for his great purposes. That’s just about the most humbling and motivating thought if you stop to really consider it. He chose us—we didn’t choose him (John 15:16). He created us. He made us in his own image (Genesis 1:27) and he has great plans for our lives.
Net it out? Even when we don’t truly know our name, Jesus does.
What’s their name in Jesus?
Before your kids were born, you probably spent significant amounts of time trying to figure out what to name them. Naming our kids is a big deal, and we wanted to get it right. You may have gone through all the potential family names, considered names that have significance in your life, or even bought a book of names.
But have you spent time recently making sure your kids fully know their name in Jesus?
We’ve all seen the news related to the college bribery scandal. The natural reaction is to be outraged. But it’s really just a sad example of how our culture doesn’t know its name.
As parents, it’s tempting to buy into the world’s messaging that we need certain credentials in order to make a “name” for ourselves. And when we allow that messaging in our lives, it inevitably plays out in how we raise our kids.
It’s time for a reminder
This week, spend some time reminding your kids (and yourself) of their real name.
Culture says you have to perform to be something and make a name for yourself.
Jesus says, I already know your name and I love it.
Remind your kids of their name in your family (unconditional acceptance and love) as well as their name in the Lord (forgiven, loved, and created in his image).
But don’t stop there. Give them specific examples of what their name is not.
- Your name is not the colleges that accept you.
- Your name is not your grades.
- Your name is not the teams you make.
- Your name is not the parties you get invited to.
- Your name is not your SAT scores.
- Your name is not the number on your scale.
- Your name is not your group of friends.
- Your name is not the person who does or doesn’t like you.
- Your name is not your status on social media.
- Your name is not the lies the enemy whispers to you.
- Your name is not performance.
When we know who we are, we live differently.
It allows us to walk each day freely, without constant fear of scrutiny and the rejection of others. We can accomplish his plans and purposes for our lives because the focus is taken off of us and rightfully put on him.
Even when others reject us or say things that hurt, we can love them well because we are reminded that they don’t know their own name, much less ours.
We are created in the image of the almighty God who loves us enough to send his son to die on the cross so that we can have eternal life.
It’s all in your name.
We talk about the college bribery scandal and how to help our kids know their true identity in Christ. It’s an honest and practical conversation on parenting our kids for Christ in a culture that relentlessly tells them they aren’t enough.
You won’t want to miss it!