It’s currently 11:36am on Monday morning. And I’ve already blown it.
I went to make coffee this morning because my kids wake up everyday READY TO PARTY. And I wake up ready to take a nap. We drink French press coffee in our house because we’re snobby millennials which means the first step to making coffee is boiling water. Like in a tea kettle. Only this morning when I turned the knob to heat the burner the knob broke off. This made me feel…sad. Also angry. We bought the stove 4 months ago.
Luckily for me, I’m a highly rational adult which means I was able to process my anger and confine it purely to the company who made my paper mache stove. Oh, wait. That’s not what happened. Instead, my anger leaked all over the place. In a matter of minutes, I yelled at my kids and probably made them feel, well…sad. Also angry.
And God thinks I’m a good dad. He’s pumped about me today.
This weekend, I talked about what I think (as far as I can tell anyway) is the answer to one of the deepest and most ancient of all human questions: who am I, really? The answer to that question is a name, or more accurately a set of names that add up to you. If you missed it, check it out here:
Here’s the punchline: you and I only have two choices when it comes to who we are. When it comes to our names: we can either make a name for ourselves or we can take the name God has already made for us. The name God has for you, should you choose to believe in Him is His own. Which means it’s Grade A Awesome. He adopts you and gives you His name. And when He does you undergo a complete and total identity transformation.
After one of the services on Sunday, Greg Eichorn who is both A) a total badass and B) one of the most loving and caring examples of a father I have ever met in my life told me that he and his wife are adopting their ninth kid this week. (Congrats, Eichorns!) Greg understands what it means to be adopted better than me (also probably you). He told me that when you adopt, the birth certificate of the child is completely changed: not just the name of the kid, but the name of the parents too. In every possible way, their ninth kid will be an Eichorn. Nothing about who they were will carry forward. And no matter what that kid does in any given day (perfectly please their parents or burns the house down), they will wake up and go to bed as an Eichorn. Nothing can change that.
Somehow, most Christians think when God adopts you it works differently. That you’re “saved by grace” but then need to spend the rest of your life earning your place at the family table. It can feel like God spends every day slowly shaking His head in disappointment at you, regretting ever letting you in the door. Because you know you screw up all the time and imagine His nickname for you is probably the screw-up.
But that’s not what God says. Not at all, actually.
And it’s worth pointing out that He’s not dumb. He’s not denying reality. And He’s not blind. The ones who refuse reality aren’t noble, they’re nuts. God saw me let a dumb stove knob turn into me missing the mark as a dad this morning. He didn’t miss it. He’s not pretending it didn’t happen. But get this: God says despite failing today, I’m not a failure. And that despite your weaknesses you are not weak. Whatever mistake you make today, He’s not going to change your birth certificate to say, Captain Whoops of the Planet Mistake.
Every day, no matter what, you have a place at His table and He’s pumped you’re there. You have a good name—His name. And nothing, literally nothing, can change that. Including you.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. —Romans 8:38-39
What names do you answer to? It could be names you’ve actually been called before or descriptions you identify with in your head. Write down anything that comes to mind.
Imagine what it would be like to really take the name God has given you. What would feel different? How would your life look different?
What would have to happen for you to really believe God and let all the others go? What stands in the way? Write it out or talk with friends all the way through to a real answer.
Pick one way this week to tangibly practice living differently in your name from God. Tell a friend what you’re planning to do, so they can encourage you to make the most of it.
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