“It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to.”
W. C. Fields
Good morning, friends! A cool breeze has blown across my part of the country but it is refreshing, especially considering what’s coming. I hope your day has begun refreshingly, too.
How many titles do you have? I’ll bet it’s more than you realize once you begin to count. Me? Let’s see. Son. Husband. Father. Pastor. Friend. Brother. Nephew. Uncle. Neighbor. Student. Teacher. Coach. That’s a pretty long list. I’m sure your list is long, too. We are called many things in life and most of the time it’s something we’ve chosen or like. We quickly recall and gladly answer to the titles and names we like.
But we are also part of many systems of people who are trying very hard to label us. Our groups want to title us based on what they see, think, like or dislike about us. In each church I’ve pastored someone or ones has decided that I’m their enemy. In other groups where I’ve not lived up to expectations I might be titled loser, bad, wrong, worthless, anemic, harmful, and a host of other negative titles. It is no joy to think about this dark side of our life, but it is there. What has the dark side of your life called you? What negative titles have you been given?
One difference between the positive titles and the negative ones is that we choose the positive ones; the negative titles are attempted to be forced on us. This calls the question: will we allow other persons to define us or will we define ourselves? It is super easy to begin to believe what is consistently said about you, but will you give away your identity that easily?
Fields makes a powerful point. “They” can call you anything “they” want to, but it doesn’t matter. You only begin to become the thing “they” called you when you begin to answer to that name. Answer to the names you aspire to be, to the ones you truly see in yourself, to the ones that reveal the best in you. And sooner or later that narrative of you will win! And I call you friend! Have a great week!