I might cop quite a bit of backlash for this post – or, some well-meaning comments from wishy-washy types who think it appropriate to take words from Scripture and extend them into meanings which feed their ego. Regardless, this is a topic I feel very strongly about – not only because it’s propaganda of a false title for Christians, it takes everything Jesus lived – and died for – and spits in His face.
We are NOT royalty
I can’t tell you how many times I have seen memes, statuses and even T-shirts claiming something along the lines of “I’m a prince/princess in God’s eyes”, “I’m the daughter of a King – I’m a princess!”, “I can do all things in Christ because I am royalty” yada yada ya, you get the picture. But, is there anywhere in the bible that believers, or those who trust in God, are called such a thing? No. In fact, far from it.
It’s a nice sentiment. Royalty are a representation of everything we could want: financial stability, good reputation, status, comfort – in short, a perfect earthly life. Isn’t that nice? Isn’t that what Jesus was all about? I mean, He attended parties, hung out with his friends and family, and told us to ‘shine our light to the world’, right?
Yes, our Lord Jesus did do all of those things. But do you know what His main goal was? To take our focus off of the things of earth, and onto Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Just look at the statement: I’m a princess. What do we get from that statement? Firstly, we are the only ones it’s directed to. I’m talking about ME. Even if I join it to God somehow, the focus of the statement is still on me. Secondly, I’m stating something as truth, that something being ‘princess’ or ‘royalty’.
Thirdly, the exclusivity of this statement (as well as the screaming implication, “I’M OKAY BY MYSELF THANKS”) excludes us from God. Why? Because a Prince, or Princess, usually have everything they need, don’t they? They have health, wealth, and every possible comfort. They are the epitome of earthly indulgence and contentment, so this is what we are proclaiming when we call ourselves royalty: I am content because I am blessed and comfortable and, frankly, don’t feel a great need for a saviour. If you don’t think that’s true, have a look around you and your home. Is there a fridge with food inside? A wardrobe with clothes? Access to water and electricity? Heck, if you’re reading this, you’re at least rich enough to own a laptop/Ipad/mobile phone. That makes you wealthy. Moreover, do you know what Princes and Princesses are not famous for needing or desiring? A Saviour. And that should be very, very sobering to us when we consider how we present ourselves to the world as Christ’s ambassadors.
… But God says we are BETTER!
I’ve got good news! You’re NOT royalty, but do you know what you are? A helpless sinner in need of grace. That is the heart cry of the Christian. We are aware and convicted of our sinful nature. We don’t want to sin, and we need a Saviour: so we submit our lives, our heart and soul and mind and strength and all that we are, to Jesus Christ, who isn’t merely royalty, but divine. We believe in Him who had no sin, who died on the cross in our place, as payment for our sin on our behalf. Trusting in Christ’s sacrifice and repenting from our sin is how we become children of God. That is WAY better than being called a prince or princess.
Also, Jesus is called the Prince of Peace, and that’s right, because He is of God – we are not. “But,” you say, “we are heirs! Does that not make us royalty?”. People can be heirs without being royalty. A king can adopt a child who is not of his own, and make him a co-heir with his true son – that doesn’t make the child of the king in the same way the true son is. Jesus is God, He is divine; we are not. And we dare not risk irreverence by ignorantly implying that we are.
So, what can we call ourselves?
Here’s a list of biblical titles for Christians, as put forward to us by God Himself in His Word to you – yes, you! – you’re welcome!
- Sinners (Romans 3:23)
- Co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17)
- Saints (Ephesians 1:1)
- Chosen/elect (Ephesians 1:4)
- Objects of God’s pleasure (Ephesians 1:5)
- Slaves of Righteousness (Romans 6:18)
- Child of God (John 1:12)
- Made alive from sin (Ephesians 2:1)
- Friend of Jesus (John 15:14)
- Justified (Romans 3:24)
- Redeemed (Romans 3:24)
- Bought by God (1 Corinthians 7:23)
- God’s workmanship – created to do good works (Ephesians 2:10)
- Slaves of the gospel (Ephesians 3:7)
- Gifted (Ephesians 4:11)
- Sheep in need of a Shepherd (John 10:14)
- Forgiven (Colossians 1:14)
- Raised with Christ (Colossians 3:1)
- Endurers for the sake of the lost (2 Timothy 2:10)
- Loved by God (1 Thessalonians 1:4)
I don’t know about you, but all of these titles, which God Himself calls us, far surpass ‘princess’, which has a self-indulgent, pompous ring to it. I’d prefer to be called the friend of God any day.
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God… Put to death, therefore, anything that belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” Colossians 1:2-3, 5