As a kid, my name and the word “shy” was inseparable. Classmates, friends, family — everyone classified me that way. In all truthfulness, I guess I was. I always got nervous speaking in class, I rarely initiated new friendships, and I never went out of my way to talk to someone I didn’t know.
I was never proud of being called shy, and I eventually overcame it, but to this day I have to remind myself that’s not who I am. I’m an introvert, but it doesn’t mean that I’m afraid of people or dislike good conversation.
Looking back, I now realize that my problem really didn’t start with someone calling me “shy,” it was that I accepted that name and then called myself that name for years afterward. That hasn’t been the only name I’ve called myself over the years, some have been much worse.
I’ve called myself a loser, a quitter, a fake, and plenty of other names I’d rather not mention. It’s embarrassing to type out those names, let alone allow someone to read them, but that’s real life. And I’d be willing to bet you’re just as guilty as I am of calling yourself names.
We’re usually our own worst critic. We come up with names and descriptions and slowly, over time, we accept them. It’s sad, but accepting these names is often easier than fighting them, and as a result, we form our identity from them.
And that is the enemy’s ultimate goal. Satan knows that if he can convince us to accept an identity based on our weaknesses then we’ll stay stuck in our insufficiencies. Everyone has struggles, but when your struggles become who you are—that’s when you forfeit the power to change.
By identifying as “overweight” you excuse yourself from eating healthy.
By identifying as an “addict” you excuse yourself from overcoming an addiction.
By identifying as “lazy” you excuse yourself from making progress.
The thing is, as a believer in Christ, you’re never a victim. Calling yourself a derogatory name is degrading to God because He made you in His own image, and He made you good (Genesis 1:27). You may have some faults, you may have some problems, but there’s nothing — literally nothing — you could do that could fully erase His image from your life.
Regardless of what you call yourself, there is a name that God calls you that rises above all the rest — He calls you “child.” And not just any child, but His child
If you want to start living in victory, it has to begin by leaving your life as a victim.
You have to stop letting one person or one thing determine who you are. You’re more than the names you’ve called yourself, more than your abilities or inabilities, more than your successes and failures, and more than your problems or your progress. You’re more, not because of what you’ve done, but simply because God calls you His.
He intricately and delicately knit you together in your mother’s womb. It was no accident. And since God put you on this earth, you should have all the proof you should ever need that you do have purpose.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14