The Name You Call Yourself

by Sharon Jaynes February 7, 2024
“... Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1b (ESV)

I held Harper’s hand as we walked into the restaurant to place our name on the waiting list. Actually, I walked; my 7-year-old grandniece skipped.

I gave the hostess the number in our party, expressed the desire for an outside table, and told her yes, crayons, please. Then the hostess asked my name. I replied, “Sharon.”

Harper quickly corrected me: “No. It’s Aunt Sharon.”

Smiles and giggles went all around. Harper had no idea what was so funny.

All through life, we are known by different names. Some lovely. Some laughable. Some loathsome. Some others call us. Some we call ourselves.

In the Bible, there is a story of a woman named Naomi who changed her name. She and her family left their home in Bethlehem and moved to Moab, but over the next 10 years, her husband and two married sons died. When she decided to return to Bethlehem, only her daughter-in-law Ruth joined her.

Naomi was broken. She must have looked very different as she trudged into town forlorn.

“Is that Naomi?” her friends asked.

She said, “Don’t call me Naomi,” which means “pleasant” in Hebrew. “Call me Mara [bitter], because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me” (Ruth 1:20-21, NIV).

A time or two, I have changed what I call myself according to the circumstances of my life. Failure. Unwanted. Inadequate. Loser. But you know what? None of those names is true. Those are not names God calls me … or you.

No matter what’s on your birth certificate, what others have called you, or what you have called yourself, God calls you His dearly loved child. If you have placed your faith in Jesus, He also calls you:

Anointed (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).
Appointed (John 15:16).
Accepted (Romans 15:7).

Reconciled (Romans 5:10).
Righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Redeemed (Galatians 3:13).

Forgiven (Ephesians 1:7).
Free (Romans 8:1).
Friend (John 15:15).

Chosen (Ephesians 1:4).
Holy (Colossians 1:22).
Dearly loved (Colossians 3:12).

Justified (Romans 5:9).
Qualified (Colossians 1:12).
Jesus’ bride (2 Corinthians 11:2).

Those are the names we need to remember.

Eventually Ruth married Naomi’s relative Boaz and had a son. Naomi's friends then encouraged her, “Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer … He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age” (Ruth 4:14-15a, NIV).

Let’s learn from Naomi that our identity and dignity is given to us by God, our Redeemer. And let's make sure we don’t change what we call ourselves according to ever-changing circumstances. Instead, may we listen to God's voice: “I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1).

Father, forgive me for seeing myself as less than how You see me. Regardless of my circumstances, help me remember I am holy, chosen and dearly loved. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Do the voices in your head tell you that you are not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, or just not enough at all? If so, it’s time to stop listening to the lies that sabotage your confidence and replace them with truth. Sharon’s book Enough: Silencing the Lies That Steal Your Confidence will help you start believing the truth about who God says you are.



Click over to Sharon’s website for a FREE guide of “70 Common Lies We Tell Ourselves and Biblical Truths to Replace Them.”


Matthew 5:13-14a, “You are the salt of the earth … You are the light of the world” (NIV).

2 Corinthians 2:15, “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing” (NIV).

What names have you been calling yourself that you need to drop? What names that God is calling you resonate with your heart? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

© 2024 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

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