Hurtful Names, Hope-filled Names

Sticks and stones can break our bones, but name-calling and negative labels hurt us too. Australian novelist Paula Vince has an excellent post about this: To get rid of the reproach of Egypt.

In crawling out from under hurtful labels, I want to step into my identity as one who is shepherded by the Lord Jesus Christ, secure in His love, provision and care.

I don’t need any label other than the new name He will give me at the end. Or so I thought.

“You are a worshipper.”

When I heard those words, they fit. Well, they described what I want to grow into.

People have called me plenty of good things since my schooldays, but those words never stuck.

Some of that was my insecurity, not being able to receive compliments. Some was self-knowledge. Like every other person on the planet, I know the darkness that lives in me with the light.

“You are kind.” No, but God is growing kindness in me.

“You are honest.” No, but God is growing honesty in me.

“You are a worshipper.”

Well, I’m not yet, not completely. Not like I want to be. But I can receive that as an affirmation, an encouragement and perhaps a signpost. God is growing worship in me.

How about you? The next time someone identifies good in you, instead of thinking how far short you fall from perfection in that area, can you recognize a spark of the good? Instead of denial and defeat, can you speak hope for what God is growing?

Cloudy thoughts block the Light

Photo credit: Janet Sketchley

[Linked to Wednesday’s Word. This first appeared as a guest post on Grace Fox’s blog, Daring. Deep. Devoted.]

4 thoughts on “Hurtful Names, Hope-filled Names

    1. Janet Sketchley

      I’m becoming an encourager, Violet, and more intentional about it, because people have pointed out the seeds to me. I guess that reinforces the point of the post 🙂

      We can get so careful about blocking the negative words that would hurt us that we don’t notice the words that might actually be from God to build us. At least that’s been my way.


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