My name is Sidney Beth Meriweather. Jesus loves me intimately, He has ultimate authority over my life, and He’s given me brothers and sisters in Christ to keep me accountable to knowing Him more.
Knowing someone’s name, really truly knowing them, is humbling. When people slowly pull back the layers, it lets us get to know them for who they are; there’s so much power in being known.
There is power in knowing the names of those around us. Really knowing who they are, not just what they present themselves to be. As I dive into what this means, join me in reflecting on these words in Ephesians 4:2-6
“2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
Intimacy is kind of a scary word. Maybe you think of sex, romantic relationships, or your deepest darkest secrets. Honestly, the word used to frighten me.
Thinking that someone else might know the good, bad, and ugly (and let me tell you there’s some real ugly inside of me) was terrifying. Then, I experienced intimacy.
I remember sitting on my bed a few years ago, my best friend Nina on the other end as I told her some of the mess going on in my heart that made me feel unlovable and unredeemable by the Lord. I was scared of opening up, fearful of judgment and rejection.
Instead, I was met with grace, understanding, and a hug. In that instant, I had one of those “this has got to be Jesus” moments. I realized how much that friendship reflected our intimacy with Christ.
He already knows it all. He knows me, Sidney Meriweather, by name. The good, bad, and ugly and still chooses to show me grace and mercy every day. He’s also given us the gift of experiencing that same intimacy with others in the Body of Christ.
I like being in control. I like having authority but allowing someone else authority over me…that’s not as easy.
I’m not a fan of being told what to do. This doesn’t lend itself well to being a 23-year-old at the start of her career, still growing in her relationship with Jesus, and figuring out adult life that seems hard all the time.
Because now, more than ever, I need people to guide and lead me, which means I have to listen.
I have to listen when a good friend pulls me aside and says, “Sidney, I’ve noticed you’ve been ______ lately and I love you enough to tell you.”
I listen when my boss is correcting the way I present something in a meeting, or when my parents are giving me advice on how to handle conflict.
Authority, though, is a privilege and not a right. In the deepening of relationships, as I get to know their name, who they really are, I slowly give them permission to hold this weight in my life.
However, the name of Jesus is the ultimate authority. Unlike people, He doesn’t have to “earn” the right to speak truth over us. He asks for daily obedience and sacrifice because He knows that His truth is what is best for us. Always. Without a doubt.
Some names in our lives hold authority and power to us. They should, but none is more important than allowing Jesus’ name to be the ultimate authority and guide in our lives.
Can you name someone in your life who you’ve asked to hold you accountable to working out? Eating right? Is that name a family member, co-worker, spouse, or friend that you have a meaningful relationship with?
A few years ago, I felt a strong conviction to start spending consistent time in God’s Word. I knew that whenever I tried to do this on my own, I failed, constantly. I would tell myself, “Sidney, this week you’re going to get up 30 minutes earlier and spend time with Jesus,” and every week I fell short.
I realized I needed someone else to stand in that struggle with me. I needed someone else to regularly check-in and ask tough questions. I also knew I didn’t want that person to be just anyone.
As I thought about it, a particular name kept coming to mind. I decided I’d put myself out there and ask her if she’d like to keep me accountable.
Accountability isn’t just a daily “how are you doing with _____,” but it’s a commitment to get to know someone’s name. You can’t hold someone accountable if you don’t really know them.
There is power in knowing a name.
I pray that you get to know the names of those around you. Deepen relationships with others in your life. It gives us the smallest, sweetest taste of what Jesus does for us every-single-day.