The other day I was reading the book of Ruth. I love that story, how it tells of Boaz as the kinsmen-redeemer, a symbol of Christ that is found back in his family tree. But today something stuck out at me I hadn't really noticed before.
Throughout the Bible there are many people who God changes their names to reflect who they are in Him. Abram (prince) becomes Abraham (father of many nations), Simeon (He has heard) becomes Peter (rock/foundation), Saul (a Jewish name) becomes Paul (a Roman name with no Jewish background signifying Paul's task to bring Christ to people outside of Judaism). In the book of Ruth, her mother-in-law Naomi (pleasant) changes her name to Mara (bitter). Unlike all the names mentioned before, God does not change Naomi's name. Naomi changes it herself to reflect the situation she's in.
And here's what I found interesting. In the Bible stories, once God changes a name the Scriptures reflect that. From that point on the person is known by their new name. When Saul became Paul, he is not called Saul again. But in the case of Naomi, even though she changes her name, for the rest of the book of Ruth (and when referenced later), she is still called Naomi. She is still referred to as pleasant.
It made me start thinking about how often we do that. Instead of looking at who God made us to be, we start changing who we think we are based on what is happening to us at the moment. I made a mistake at work, so I'm stupid. We change our name based on how we feel here and now. But God, He doesn't. He still thinks of us as He always has, as the child He made us and is making us to be.
Instead of taking on new names, let's instead look at who we are in Christ and focus on that, make that who we define ourselves as.