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February 2, 2024

This month’s Pastor’s Perspective is delivered by Rev. Kyle Searcy, Fresh Anointing House of Worship

Kyle Searcy

At the heart of Revelation’s depiction of Christ’s return is a profound assertion of identity and self-assurance. Revelation 19:12 depicts Jesus with “eyes like a flame of fire” and wearing many crowns, a powerful image of majesty and authority. However, one of the most intriguing descriptions is that “He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.” In biblical times, a name was not just a label but an insight into the very essence of a person’s character and nature.

The notion of a name known only to oneself is emblematic of the total self-assurance with which Jesus walks. It is an assurance that comes not from external validation but from an intrinsic self-assurance. The Bible extends this concept to believers, suggesting that we, too, can possess a similar assurance.

Revelation 2:17 states that those who overcome will be given a new name known only to the recipient.

Although these passages speak of a future revelation, I see a present reality we can glean from this. In our modern era, marked by the pervasive influence of social media, many derive their value and worth from what others think about them. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook amplify the importance of likes, comments, and shares, influencing individuals to base their self-worth on external validation. Moreover, a shift toward individualism in our society exacerbates this trend, emphasizing personal success and achievement as a measure of value.

Statistics paint a telling picture of this shift. The “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology” notes an increase in narcissistic traits among younger generations. The Pew Research Center found that 55% of American teenagers feel they spend too much time on social media, affecting their self-esteem. The American Psychological Association underscores the impact of social media on self-esteem, highlighting how constant online comparison can engender feelings of inadequacy and low self-worth.

In this social media world, can something have great value to us if we can’t share it, boast of it, or post it?

For most, probably not. But we need to adjust this mindset, and we don’t have to wait until we receive an eternal name before it can change. We can begin cultivating a secret history with God now, bringing us total satisfaction, absent human affirmation.

Here are three practical steps we can take to get started:

Live for an Audience of One: Jesus exemplifies living to please God alone. In John 8:29, He states that He always does what pleases the Father. This principle encourages individuals to seek approval from God rather than from the fleeting and often fickle court of public opinion.

Live with a Clear Conscience: Apostle Paul emphasized living with a clear conscience before God and people (Acts 24:16). This calls for daily introspection and correction, ensuring that our actions and thoughts align with biblical and moral standards.

Derive Your Identity in Christ: As Colossians 3:3 reminds us, the believer’s life is “hidden with Christ in God.” This profound truth suggests that one’s identity is not rooted in the shifting sands of social media likes or societal accolades but is anchored in the eternal and unchanging nature of Christ.

These principles offer a counter-narrative to the self-centered and approval-seeking tendencies of our age. By living for an audience of one, maintaining a clear conscience, and finding our identity in Christ, we can experience a sense of self that is both assured and anchored, irrespective of the surrounding culture’s whims.

In applying these principles, the challenge lies in moving against the current of societal norms, embracing a set of values that prioritize intrinsic worth over external affirmation. It calls for a conscious rejection of the metrics of self-worth dictated by social media and society and a turn towards a more introspective and divine measure of value.

By embracing these tenets, one can forge a path marked by divine assurance and self-discovery, much like the one whose name is known only to Himself. The journey requires discipline, reflection, and a commitment to spiritual growth, but the promise of a name—and an identity—known only to the individual and their Creator offers a profound source of strength and assurance in a world that all too often tells us we are only as good as the approval we receive from others.
So, what’s your new name? Don’t tell me. Just enjoy it and rehearse it with Jesus.

Kyle Searcy serves as senior pastor of Fresh Anointing House of Worship in Montgomery. As well as being a skilled writer and well sought-after speaker, he is husband to the beautiful and anointed, Kemi Searcy. They are the blessed parents of four children and six grandchildren.

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