June is coming to an end and before it gets away I wanted to write about June Bugs. Aren’t you glad you’re reading this?
When my husband was a boy, he would tie a string to the legs of June Bugs and spin around, taking these poor insects for a thrill ride. This practice garnered him the nickname, June Bug, and at fifty-six-years-old, family members still call him by that name.
Growing up, my neighbor’s dad gave me the nickname, Deener Weiner. He called me that the last time I saw him in 2017. The name was an endearment, and even though I don’t desire you to call me by that name, it holds a special place in my heart because he spoke it out of love.
Names stick with us. They have meaning. In the novel I’m working on, the main character’s name is Amanda and her grandmother called her Mandy when she was a child. That name held a fondness for Amanda until her abusive stepfather used it and then she no longer wished anyone to call her by that name.
Whether we love the name we’re called, or despise it, can depend on who is using it, can’t it?
Maybe you were teased as a child and a hurtful nickname comes to mind. Or you’ve labeled yourself stupid, ugly, fat, incompetent, unloveable… you fill in the blank. We can give ourselves nicknames that tear us down and rob us of the self-esteem and confidence we need to live the joy-filled and abundant life God has for us.
Let’s take a moment to remind ourselves of our true names if we belong to God.
Friend: “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends…” John 15:15 (NLT)
Masterpiece: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
Sons and Daughters: “And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18 (NLT)
Heirs of God’s glory: “For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory.” Romans 8:16 – 17a (NLT)
Family Member: “So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.” Ephesians 2:19 (NLT)
New Creation: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)
Chosen, Royal Priest, Holy, God’s possession: “… for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9 (NLT)
Citizen of Heaven: “But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.” Philippians 3:20 (NLT)
I could keep going, but you get the idea. In Christ, our names are beautiful and we should wear them with pride in the Lord Jesus. He speaks these names over us as endearments and with love. If you, or someone else, has labeled you with names that tear down and hurt, bury those names in the past and wear your new names in Christ. Find your identity in Him alone.
Join the conversation. Did you have a nickname as a child? What was it? Do you have a nickname as an adult? Which name as a child of God do you cherish most?