As Americans we like to label everything. We put labels on our food that tells us what it is, how healthy it is, when it expires, and how much of it we should eat. We label our clothes so that we know what brand it is, who made it, what size it is, and what it’s made out of. We label our vehicles. We label our houses. We label our toys. You name it we put a label on it.
There is one other thing we tend to put labels on. You can’t find it on a supermarket shelve. You can’t find it in a retail store. You can’t even find it on the internet. This thing I’m talking about is something we seem to label the most. It’s ourselves.
We tend to label ourselves based on what other people say about us. We put labels on ourselves based on past history or things we have done. We place labels on ourselves based on the job we have or the people that are in our social circles.
What’s worse than placing labels on ourselves is that we also have the tendency to put labels on others. We label others based on what they have done. We label others because of what they wear or what they say or who they hang out with. We place labels on others based solely on what they make look like.
The thing I realized about labels that has changed my perspective on how I view myself and how I view others is that the only person who has the right to place a label on something is the person who created or made the thing they’re labeling. For example Nike is the only one who has the right to label their clothes and shoes because they made them. No one else can label them any different. I’m sure there are people who may call them something else or try to put labels on them, but it doesn’t matter because at the end of the day it is still going to be what Nike has labeled it to be.
This is so reassuring to me because I know that I have been created in the image of God. I know that I am a child of the King. I know that I belong to Him. I know that He loves me and wants the best for me. So He is the only one who has the right to label me.
The labels God places on me don’t rely on what I’ve done but are based upon what Jesus has done. They are not based on who I am but on whose I am. They don’t rely on my failing love but on His unfailing love. They don’t rest on how I see myself or on how others see me but they rest solely on how God sees me.
So the next time you find yourself falling into the trap of labeling yourself or allowing others to place labels on you, remind yourself of how God sees you. He says that you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). He says that you are more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37). He says that you are blessed (Deuteronomy 28:3-8). He says that you are His child (Romans 8:16-17). He says that you are justified and redeemed (Romans 3:24). He says that you are no longer condemned (Romans 8:1). He says that you are forgiven (Ephesians 1:7). He says that you are blameless (Ephesians 1:4). He says that you are free (John 8:36).