Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God.
I John 3:1
Jesus delights in giving us names that we can grow into. Never does Jesus label us “sinners.” We are commanded to “go and sin no more,” but we are not given a derogatory label. Instead, we are called “children of God.” Imagine that! Jesus affirms us, and we grow into His affirmation.
Jesus delighted in doing the same things with His disciples. Jesus changed the name Simon, meaning “reed,” to Peter, meaning “rock.” Instead of focusing on Peter’s indecisiveness and impetuousness, Jesus focused on what Peter would become-rock solid.
Have you noticed that when you label someone, all you can see from then on is the label? You persist in seeing “Jack the drunk” or “Donna the airhead” instead of Jack and Donna, God’s cherished children. Following Christ’s example we need, with the eyes of faith, to see the potential for wholeness and transformation in each person, including ourselves. We need to be God’s affirming voice to those around us.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the affirming people you have brought into my life; their affirmations move my eyes away from my mistakes toward my potential. Help me learn to affirm others, too.