Writer and speaker Esther Fleece Allen struggled under a list of labels well into her 20s and 30s:
At one point, she wondered if those labels would always form the basis of her identity.
Then she began to learn about the concept of new names in Scripture. The Bible reveals the enemy’s strategy to keep us stuck in the labels of our pasts – labels that others attach to us or that we attach to ourselves. But it also reveals God’s desire to give us a new identity and a new name, one that frees us to move forward into a new future.
One of the most familiar stories in Scripture is the story of God renaming Jacob to Israel as they wrestled with one another. Likewise, along the journey of faith, every Christian has – or will have – a testimony about wrestling with God and breaking through to a new name.
If you are struggling with your past, the labels formed in your dark experiences don’t have to be the end of your story or define you forever. God has a new identity and a new name for you. You might have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, but if God deems that the walk needs to take place, there will be another side, and He will take you there.
And you can always take comfort and courage in this: God never names us out of our sin, our brokenness, or our shame. He names us out of His love for us.
On our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Rising Above the Labels That Bind You,” Esther Fleece Allen is with us to share how broken family relationships saddled her with harmful labels that squelched her joy and limited her ability to move forward. She also shares how she discovered her true identity in Christ and His new name for her. Listen on your local radio station, online, on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or on our free phone app.
Esther Fleece Allen is founder and CEO of L & L Consulting, which helps develop strategies for nonprofit organizations. She was formerly on staff here at Focus.
She’s written a book called Your New Name: Saying Goodbye to the Labels That Limit, which is available for a gift of any amount. Visit our website for more information.
You may also be interested in a free online booklet we’ve written called, “Coming Home: An Invitation to Join God’s Family,” which explains what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.