When I was in high school, I loved and played the game of basketball. In the 1980s, at a small rural school, we still played six-on-six. Yes, six guards and six forwards who stopped at the half-court line. I know. It sounds so archaic.
As a basketball player, I found a lot of significance in my weekly performance. When I played well, I loved that label. When I didn’t have a good game, the label was a burden around my neck, reminding me of not being good enough. So often, I had to take deep breaths and put my performance and significance in a healthy perspective.
What labels do you live under? Mom, bible teacher, ministry wife, businesswoman, thoughtful, funny, a good cook? These may all be facts about you. But the trouble comes when you depend on them to tell you who you are.
God understands that we have this tendency and gives many examples of people living above their label in the Bible. Rahab is one of those examples. She was a “prostitute.” When the opportunity came to save Israeli spies, she stepped outside who she had always been and showed tremendous faith and bravery, playing a significant role in Israel’s story (Judges 2, 6).
What I find interesting is not that she was a prostitute or saved Israeli spies, but in the New Testament, she is “Rahab, the prostitute” (Hebrews 11:31, James 2:25). If she had left that lifestyle and chosen to follow God (and eventually become one of the great-grandmothers of Jesus), why is she still remembered with that label?
I wonder if, instead of being a label of disgrace, it became a badge of grace because it pointed to the rescue and redemption of God. God does that: he redeems our sins and makes us new. We can’t change our past, but we can choose the power it will have over us. I decided to live in the freedom of who God bought me to be.
I want that for you, ministry wife. You don’t have to live down to what you’ve done. Live beyond the wall. I want you to live as God sees you – rescued, redeemed, and so loved!
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14