Monday, February 3, 2014

Our Real Name

There are three basic relationships that drive everyday life.  Our relationships with other people, our relationship to God and our relationship with ourselves.  But the foundation of these three relationships is our relationship to God.  Are we honest with God?  Are we transparent with God?  Are we willing to let down our guard and show God our real name?

A long time ago I read a series of books by Ursula Le Guin.  The books were "The Earthsea Trilogy."  I don't remember much about the books except that they involved a mythical kingdom where magic was alive and well, demons roamed around freely, and you only gave your real name out to those you would trust with your life.  In the books, knowing the true name of something or someone gave you power over that person or thing.  While the book was fantasy I think there is some truth to this concept.  We closely hold our true self ... our true name.  We tell and show the world what they want to see or what we want them to see.  It is a rare person we can be so vulnerable to that we can tell them our true name.  We hide that name from others and we hide that name from God.  We often don't know that name ourselves.

Here are a couple of errors in this line of thought and this way of living life.  First, while we are careful to hide our real self we really can't hide completely.  I have news for you.  The honest people around you probably already know something is wrong and that you have brokenness in your life.  It is OK.  In Celebrate Recovery we face that brokenness and evaluate our relationships to see if we need to forgive someone or ourselves.

Second, God sees us clearly and chooses to love us anyway.  His children (Adam and Eve) messed up pretty bad, so if we or our children mess up, join the rest of humanity.  God is omnipresent ... so we cannot hide anything from Him.  That is both reassuring and scary.

I love the passage in Isaiah (43:1-2) that says "But thus says the Lord, He who created you O Jacob, He who formed you O Israel: Do not fear for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name and you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flames shall not consume you."  God's Word says God knows our name.  He made us.  He is the one who gives us our real name.  Maybe we should learn that name, become real and become open and transparent to God.  He can get us through the bad places.  And He has power over us whether we acknowledge it or not.  Knowing your real name, sharing it with God and those you trust is a good start to healing.  

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