In the Bible, when we read about a person, their name is usually followed by a description of where they are from or their trait; Jesus of Nazareth, John the Baptist, Ruth the Moabitess. Now, Jesus and John had it pretty good. Their titles were positive and had no negative connotations associated with them. Ruth’s, on the other hand, said she was a foreigner, an enemy of the Israelites.
What if we all had titles that described who we are? Some people already do. Someone with a title of M.D. or PhD, is known to have gone to school for a long time, they have knowledge in their field and quite often are immediately respected. Anyone would be proud to have such a title. But what if our titles had nothing to do with our career or our accomplishments, but our character? What if the world gave us our title? Would you be proud of your name?
When Ruth left Moab for Bethlehem, she was known as Ruth, the Moabitess. Now, this may not mean anything to us, but in those days, her title basically said she wasn’t welcomed and wasn’t able to take part in certain freedoms. It said she would have to struggle in this land. In addition to her title, people knew she was a widow, had no family and no wealth. She was lower than low. Imagine that kind of life?
So many of us have similar struggles with our titles, but what is even worse are the traits associated with those titles. Let’s use my titles as an example. Some of the my titles are divorced, single parent, non-degreed. Traits associated with those titles are failure, damaged, used. Because of these titles and their associated character traits, my success/happiness expectancy plummets.
Now, the Biblical/Christian response to the whole “title” thing is God doesn’t see our titles or isn’t limited by the expectancy of such titles. True, but what if I said He was the one who gave us such titles and allowed such negativity to be associated with those titles? I believe this to be true and Ruth is a prime example.
Ruth’s title said that she wasn’t worth much and nothing worthwhile could ever be expected to come from her life. I believe God loved that. I believe He used it to His and Ruth’s advantage. Because He knew that when He turned Ruth’s life around by allowing her to marry Boaz,which in turn included her in the lineage of Jesus, it all could only be attributed to His divinity! No one would have ever seen that coming! God proved her title and the character traits associated with it did not determine nor described her future.
What if the same is for you? What if the title of weak, fearful, failure, lost, damaged, or used may be the truth for your past, but not the truth for your future? What if the titles you have been given or given yourself, make His promises and victories for you only that much sweeter? What if instead of holding you back, your title is actually what God is using to push you forward? What if instead of hiding behind your title, you stood in front of it proud of how God is and will continue to shine through it?