It’s a New Year, and with a New Year, we often try to reinvent ourselves. It’s a time to reflect on who we are and how we’re perceived. A big part of this process comes down to the definitions that describe us. “Also Known As” labels, or AKAs.
We all have them. Our AKAs often define who we are; what we do; who we’re married to; whose child we are; whose our children are.
The latter—most moms can appreciate. How many of us who have had young children remember answering to “So-and-So’s Mom” as easily as we answer to our own names?!
And, of course, we do it to other people, too. Consider the waiter or waitress who serves your table. Most likely, they’ve introduced themselves by name, but don’t we spend the better part of our meal saying, “Ma’am,” or “Sir,” or referring to them as the “Waiter” or “Waitress?”
Those labels give a vague idea of who we are by the world’s standards, but how about the AKAs from a spiritual perspective?
Sinner. Lost. Ashamed. Hopeless. Unworthy.
Those are labels we all share, no matter who we are or what other labels say about us. Romans 2:11 says, “For God shows no partiality,” and a chapter later in Romans 3:23, we’re reminded, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” For the one and only time in the history of mankind, we have a universal, “one-size-fits-all” truth and common denominator. Unfortunately.
But fortunately, we’re not the only ones with labels. Jesus has a few of His own.
Teacher. Lord. Messiah. Son of God. Savior. Redeemer. And of course, all the descriptive AKAs in Isaiah 9:6b, “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Thanks to the AKAs of Jesus, we don’t have to be known by our sinful labels ever again. We can swap those labels for ones like these:
Forgiven. Redeemed. Saved. Found. Loved. Cherished. Christians.
Isn’t it amazing that we serve a God who doesn’t hold our past labels against us? Even the ugliest labels we’d never want the world to see or know. And to change out our labels, all we have to do is believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who died for our sins and conquered death when He rose from the dead!
The AKAs of the world only offer a vague generalization of who we are, but the AKAs we wear because of Christ are the ones that truly define us.
Jesus said in John 13:35, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Because of what Jesus’ labels mean to us, and what He did for us, we should strive to become more Christ-like in all we do.
Ephesians 4:22-24 says, “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
The AKAs we’re known as before we accept Christ don’t matter when we allow the Holy Spirit to transform us for the world to see our true AKA: Sons and Daughters of the King.