When I was a little girl, one of my favorite movies was The Little Princess, starring Shirley Temple (1939). From growing up with that movie, I learned a few things, like what special-ness is:
Sarah Crewe: My chicken can do a special trick!
Miss Minchin: And what is that?
Sarah: She can lay an egg!
Miss Minchin: And what's so special about THAT?
Sarah: Well, can YOU lay an egg?
I also learned that I have the right to be called a princess, "All women are princesses; it is our right!"
Sunday morning, Alan Platt brought a special message about navigating life's challenges, and one major focus was identity. Part of the unique way Jesus handled tough situations was by resting in His identity as God's Son. Now consider these two verses from Romans 8 (NKJV):
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. (verses 15-17)
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (verse 29)
When my daughter was little, my grandmother bought her a t-shirt that said, "Why yes, I am a princess. My Father is the King of Kings!"
In The Little Princess, there is something about the toss of Sarah Crewe's head when she's told she is a princess by right. You see, being a princess isn't about how well-behaved you are. It isn't something you earn. Royalty is something a person inherits by birth or by marriage. A good princess doesn't behave with stately comportment and moral rectitude because she has to earn her position as a princess. She behaves that way because she's living up to the title she's been born into, and she is set up as an example and a representative of her family and her kingdom.
When we were born again, we were born into a royal family... The Royal Family. Beyond that moment, our lives were bound to change. The resulting life change isn't intended to be out of a sense of guilt, or of indebtedness. Our debts are all forgiven, so guilt is off the table. We are asked to follow Jesus' lead in how He carries himself, how He speaks, and how he interacts with people out of a sense of identifying with Him as our brother. Jesus is the first among many princes and princesses, and you are one of them.
While Shakespeare said, "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown" (Henry IV), Jesus said, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 8:30). Today, carry yourself with your head held high, as though wearing a beautiful, yet light, crown. You are a prince or a princess. You represent The Royal Family. The kingdom you inherit will last forever; its foundations will not be shaken. Therefore there is nothing to fear, no guilt to be carried, no burden too heavy. None of your fears or sins or worries can affect your identity, because all those things can be taken to your Father - your Dad (Abba) - your King, and He restores you.