Isaac and Rebekah flicked through their book of baby names and meanings. (If you know your Bible, you'll know they're Jacob's parents... ohhh... did we give the story away there?). 'How about Matthew?' Rebekah asked. 'Hmm. Depends.' The book said Matthew means 'Gift from God.' 'Wouldn't want our son to grow up big-headed,' they both agreed. 'What about Aaron?' Rebekah asked. 'It says here it means Strong Mountain.' 'Bound to get him into fights,' answered Isaac. 'How about Joshua instead?' But they both agreed a name meaning 'God is salvation' would lead to a messiah complex.
It was nearly nine months now and still no name. In desperation, Isaac stopped on a random page and pointed blindly with his finger. Whatever name it landed upon would be the boy's name. 'Jacob.' Hmm. 'Jacob ... yes ... I like it. What does it mean?' 'Deceiver?!'
And so 'Jacob the deceiver' grew up into his name. He ducked and dived and lied and cheated until his family broke down. And then one day God wrestled with him. And he emerged from the fight with a limp and a new name: 'Israel' which means 'a prince of God'.
The moral of the story: God determines your identity.
So what now? Have people called you hurtful names? Or, do you have names for yourself - Useless, Thick, Ugly, Loser? These names are not true according to God. Thank Him that He calls you a treasured member of His Kingdom.
Soulfood : Mt 5:4, Is 51:1-16, Ps 30, 2 Cor 1:3-7