I had a conversation this past Wednesday with someone that I love and care about. I have hurt them deeply because of past sin, lies, and manipulation. I could hear how I had hurt them in the things they were saying to me. I know that only God can heal the pain and damage that my sin has done and I trust Him to do so.
I spoke about the conversation later in the evening with a trusted friend who walks with the Lord and is very godly counsel. “This person is still calling you by your old name,” she said. “This person whom you’ve hurt has not seen the growth, redemption, and renewal that God has done and is doing in your heart and life on a daily basis like I have.” It was like a revelation. My name HAS been changed! Praise God, I am not who I was.
You can usually tell how someone knows you by the name they call you. If I hear someone call me Gravy, I know they knew me when I worked at the golf course. If someone calls me Silky, then they played in our fantasy football league. My sins in 2009 didn’t just come to light; it was on the news and television locally. Many more than those that I directly hurt now called me Jacob, liar, cheater, manipulator, and thief. I caused a lot of pain and heartache to those I love dearly. My sin has consequences and I feel them daily whether it be broken relationships, trust, or even my ability to currently pay my bills.
However, God changed my name when I stepped out of the denial of the subtle lies, attempts at control, and my fears that caused heartache and devastation to myself and to others. There is a great temptation to live down to the names people call me as a result of my sin but in the journey of deep sorrow that led to sweet fellowship with God through the revelation of his Son in the word of God, I can be reminded that He has changed my name. I am beloved. I am chosen. I am hidden in the cross of Jesus Christ.
I encourage you, when someone lashes out from their pain and hurt or you are tempted to believe the lies that you are who you were, be reminded that God can change your name. As a good friend wrote recently, you can place your value in some things but only place your worth in God’s hands and heart. What is your new name? Take a few minutes today and thank God for the redeeming work he is doing in your life and ask Him what He calls you today. If you are still, I know that he will speak life and truth over you that will be much needed rain to your weary soul.