What’s in a Name?

Sharon JaynesGeneral Inspiration, Identity in Christ 6 Comments

Today’s Truth   “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my territory!  Let your hand be with me and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain” (1 Chronicles 4:10 NIV).

Friend to Friend  Most likely you have heard about one man’s little prayer tucked in 1 Chronicles 4.  His name is Jabez, and his name means “pain.”  I don’t know if it was a lapse in judgment or just plain meanness, but when Jabez was born, his momma was not a happy woman.  She bore this boy in pain and wanted to make sure he never forgot it.  So, she named him…Pain.  All his life, Jabez had to live under the cloud that he had caused his mother great pain.

Maybe you have echoes in your memory of your mother reminding you that you were a pain.  “You are such a pain.”  “You cause me pain.” “You are a bother.”  “I sacrificed so much for you and you don’t even appreciate it.”  But you know what? Even if someone has made you feel like you were a royal pain,that does not make it true.  God would beg to differ.  He absolutely adores you.  He loves you so much that He even gave His only Son so that you could spend eternity with Him.  We don’t do that for people who are a pain.  On the contrary, we don’t want to spend a minute with them…much less an eternity.

Let’s go back to Jabez for a moment.  What did he do about the name he had been given?  He prayed.  He decided he was not going to let someone’s estimation of him or the label his mother had placed on him, rule him for the rest of his life. Jabez cried out to God. “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my territory!  Let your hand be with me and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.”

1 Chronicles 4:9 tells us that Jabez was honorable – more honorable than all his brothers.  This was not a self-seeking prayer.  He just wanted to be free of the label that had been slapped on him by his momma, and be loved by the God who could slap a blessing on his heart.

Perhaps you need to renounce a few names that have plagued you for years…

“You’re no good.”

“You’re not a good daughter.”

“You’re irresponsible.”

“You don’t care about anybody but yourself.”

“You’re just like your father.”

“You’re so selfish.”

Visualize whatever label you’ve allowed, to be written on a name tag.  Now, visualize Jesus walking up to you and pulling that name tag off your chest, crumpling it up, and throwing it in the trash.

Now visualize Jesus picking up a permanent marker and writing your new name on your heart.

“New creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13)

Light of the world (Matthew 5:14)

Child of God (John 1:12)

Righteous and holy (Ephesians 4:24)

That’s who you really are – and don’t let anyone tell you any different!

Oh, and what of Jabez’s request? ”And God granted him what he requested” (1 Chronicles 4:10).

Let’s Pray  Dear Lord, Thank You for giving me a new name!  I pray that I will no longer remember the names that I have been called in the past. This one thing I do…forgetting what lies behind and pressing forward to what lies ahead.  I run the race with a new name…the one that you have given me…dearly loved precious child.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Now It’s Your Turn  Make a name tag with one of the above verses.  Consider wearing it under a sweater or jacket for an entire day.

Look up the following verses and note what they say about who you are in Christ.

John 15:15

John 15:16

Romans 6:18

Romans 8:14,15

I Corinthians 3:16

I Corinthians 6:17

I Corinthians 12:27

2 Corinthians 5:18,19

Whose opinion is more important to you and whose estimation is more correct – the people in your past or the God who made you?  Whom are you going to believe?

To comment on today’s devotion, visit Sharon’s blog at


More from the Girlfriends

One of the most transforming teachings in the New Testament is about our identity in Christ. Knowing who we are and what we have in Christ helps us overcome feelings of inferiority, insecurity and inadequacy.  If you would like to start acting like who God says you are, and walking in the confidence of a woman that is more than a conqueror, then check out Sharon’s book, Experience the Ultimate Makeover and discover God’s transforming power in your life!

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Comments 6

  1. Thank you so much for this devotion! I pled guilty to a crminial offense that I did commit; and I have served my jail time. I have turned back to God and He has forgiven me. The enemy keeps trying to undermine my forward walk by constantly reminding me of what I did wrong. These scriptures will be continually reviewed as I try to move past the enemy’s attempts to thwart my renewed relationship with my loving, forgiving Father. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  2. Thank you dear Beloved for these words of compassion! These are many of the very words I have heard for so very long from my own mother. How very important it is for me to find my identity in Christ. He wants to deliver me from these lies. Please pray for me as I find the courage to leave the situation and protect my family from her abuse. And thanks again for spreading Truth and for being so willing to be God’s Instrument. You have absolutely no idea how God used you in my life and the timing of your message. I just LOVE God in the details!

  3. Thank you beloved for the message!It energized me.More inspiration to continue is what I speak into your ministry!

  4. Thanks so much for this message. For many years I’ve struggled with low self esteem especially after being called awful names by my father. As a young girl growing up he’d constantly call me a prostitute and accuse me of sleeping with anyone from my school teacher, headmaster and even the pastor of the church. Unfortunately as an adult I had an extra-marital affair and feel as if the words/names of my father have plagued me and influenced some of my behaviour. I am today a born again, sprirt-filled believer but even with that I still struggle from time to time and forget what the word of God says that I am as His child. I still worry that others see me as being less than. Please pray for me that I’ll be able to rip off the tags that my father and many others have placed on me and that I’ll get to a place in my life where I’ll be able to hold my head up high regardless of my circumstances. Thanks once again for all your hard work and enouraging words.

  5. For most of my adult life, I have struggled with feelings that I am not good enough. I wasn’t good enough for my parents, especially my mother, and I wasn’t good enough for my ex-husband as he turned to someone else while we were still married. The pain and scars of these past hurts are deep and are unfortunately causing me to repeat the pattern with my daughter. I am guilty of tearing her down instead of building her up and I want desperately to change that. I pray for God to help me remember that I am loved by Him and that I am good enough, in spite of what others may think or say.

  6. Hi Sharon,

    I have been truly blessed by your devotionals, your experiences. But most of all I have been challenged,encouraged, made aware of many things. I bless God for you guys.

    I have a problem though and it makes me feel frustrated,unworthy and sometimes unloved by God.I find it so hard to just have praise and worship songs just flowing out of my mouth. I can hear my spirit singing but my mouth is saying nothing. Because i cant vocalize it i get frustrated.
    Its like I feel far from The Lord and I wonder if He is mad at me or disappointed in me.
    I dont know what it is, but this prevents me from having quality time with the Lord because I dont sing and worship as I ought to.

    Iam sit and talk to HiM and read my Bible but singing is so hard.

    I think i dont know how to love as I ought to.

    Anyway I wont write too much.

    God bless you

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