It's Five Minute Friday time where I link up with other Gypsy Mama friends and we write what's on our heart. If you want to join in hop on over and give it a try. Today's prompt is: Identity.
I've identified myself many ways over the years, labels have come and gone. Thin, daughter, pretty, smart, big mouth, energetic, dogmatic. As I've grown I shed some labels as a lizard sheds too tight skin and put on new ones. Wife, mother, dieter, worshiper, southerner. I've grown in to other labels unexpectedly. Mentor, writer, teacher. I've tried to squeeze into identities that weren't my size. Holy Spirit, leader, hero.
Through it all the Word and the Holy Spirit have stripped off those identities and labels and scrubbed me clean. I hear God's voice naming me. I'm surprised by what he says and fight his name for me, unbelieving and incredulous. I've gotten used to the voice in my head and the voice of the world telling me who I am. But I grow weary of the fight and learn to trust his voice. Unsuited, I'm astonished to find a crimson seal across my heart, etched with one word. BELOVED.
We're good at throwing around labels. Branding people and ourselves; sometimes categorizing people we're afraid of, other times setting people up with god like expectations. One label I've come to be wary of is Christian. It's easy to slap the label Christian on someone or something. I've heard some of the oddest statements made in the name of Christianity. I don't want to label myself as a Christian anymore, anyone can do that. I'd rather call myself something a little more awkward, something narrow and unavoidably clear. How about bond-servant of Jesus? Or what about disciple of Jesus, maybe sinner ransomed by God, or member of the holy priesthood of Jesus Christ? How we define ourselves affects how we behave, similarly how we define others affects how we expect them to behave. I want to define myself by and behave according to the word of God. The Israelites applied the blood of the passover lamb to the doorposts of their home, warding off the angel of death, and walked out of bondage into freedom as the people of God. Similarly the blood of The Lamb, applied in faith to the doorway of my heart, enables me to walk in freedom, from death to life, as a child of God.
How do you identify yourself? Have you allowed the expectations of others, or maybe yourself, to define you? God has a label he wants to put on you and it's the only one that matters!