I remember when I was a kid growing up and how I never liked to be called names, no one did. I mean I like my name. My name is Richard, a fine and dandy name for me. Hey, Hi, Yo & Bro were all right to get my attention. Didn’t mind anything close to Rich, Richie, or Rick. Anything in the ballpark suited me fine. While navigating about, I didn’t like names such as Jerk, Clown, Screw Ball, Air Head or Space Cadet. But at least I could fire back and that always seemed to end the name calling. Whomever coined the phrase “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” brought that saying from another planet, which doesn’t belong here on earth.
However, there is a part of my past where name calling had to be accepted and not a word said otherwise. This place was in my Catholic elementary school and the teachers there were Sister’s of Charity. Such a nice and peaceful name to have as teachers. Yes, these were Catholic Nuns. I remember one day in particular as the “day of thunder,” when I had been disobedient. I was told not to bounce a ball while in line and accidentally dropped it a second time just as I was being warned. Oh, those Nuns had such uncanny timing. Sister Maria stopped the line and glared down at me as I stood motionless at the back of the line. She headed my way, not too fast, just slow deliberate steps. Time seemed to stand still, it was slow motion as pandemonium filled my mind. I was in confinement and awaited punishment.
Sister Maria finally arrived and stood directly in front of me then slowly cuffed her sleeves – more agonizing seconds. I was so frightened as I realized I was confronted with professional intimidation. I didn’t dare make eye contact, just squinted my eyes and waited for “the thunder.” I was slapped around pretty hard and started to slip down to my knees but was jerked up by my tie which seemed like a rope around my neck. Then I had to look Sister Maria in the eye, which she made sure of. It was over….almost. The finishing touch for Sister Maria was her calling me a “Brazen Article.” With absolute authority I had been branded. The line moved forward and I never did see that ball again. As my class headed to the staircase, we passed by a glass display case in which I caught a glimpse of myself in the reflection. I saw that my tie was on backwards, my collar was sticking up as if it were starched that way and my hair stood on end as if I had stuck my finger in an electric socket. One consolation was the fact that no one stared at me because Sister Maria was at the back of the line as we made our way back to the classroom. When I got to my seat, I squared myself away the best I could. I was now a “Brazen Article.” – no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Would you believe that this event took place in 1956? That’s right, you do the math. I was condemned and I will always remember this event. It wasn’t until years later (1977) that I would be condemned again. But this time I was condemned by God. Someone witnessed to me and showed me God’s law, I had always known the Ten Commandments but now my conscious seemed to crush me. I saw myself a true sinner and separated from God, it was then that I was prepared for God’s grace. I accepted the solution God gave me to avoid destruction and I submitted to the lordship of His Son Jesus Christ.
Keep in mind that Satan’s favorite tool is condemnation, just another word for “name calling.” Satan wants to brand believers with any name that we allow to stick. If you are in Christ Jesus today, there is no condemnation over your life. Period. See Romans 8:1. Why? Because Jesus has already been condemned for all of our sins. Every time you fail in thought, word, or deed always remember – there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ. God in Christ has cleansed you of every stain of sin. The blood of Jesus protects believers from condemnation.
If the Spirit of God has shown you what God’s law really is then your heart is prepared for God’s grace.