Let me share some raw, twisted emotions that I experienced last week while trying to write this blog post on “labels”. I struggled. The words would not come. God was silent; I only heard crickets chirping. I wondered why. I was frustrated and my emotions were tangled with discouragement.
Then I prayed.
I didn’t like what I felt from my soul; the One who desires to fill me up daily was mixing up my emotions. As God gingerly and lovingly removed the calluses from my eyes, sadness flooded me. The convictions of my heart pressed in and I sat in disappointment. God tenderly showed me that I am guilty of something that makes me cringe…I am a labeler.
I sit on a throne of judgment, which plants unhealthy, unwarranted, and unwanted labels on others. I am a hypocrite.
“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.” Matthew 7:5
Do you ever sit on the throne of Judgment? I have. I do. I label. I judge.
Why do we do this? Why is it so easy to place labels on others? I am not sure about why you might, but I understand why I do. I place my perfectionism on others. When the people around me fall short, I start placing sticky labels of judgment on them. I plant my heavy, unhealthy expectations on their shoulders, unfairly.
I am heavyhearted. However, grateful God’s care and love unsealed and unraveled my sin of labeling.
There is good news, even when we sit in judgment and form labels. He reminds us that His love endures forever, in all circumstances and in our shortcomings.
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” 1 Chronicles 16:34
He forgives and He wipes us clean as snow when we ask Him to forgive us.
"Come now, let us settle the matter," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18
Surrender to Him and pray for a teachable, reachable spirit.
“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” Psalm 143:10
Ask God to help you see, love and respect others as He does.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34
Please pray with me…
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us regardless of our shortcomings and our sinful nature. Please tap on our hearts when we fall short of your commands and slip back into the label game. Labels hurt and we do not want to bruise others with our judgment. Continue to give us a teachable spirit to love others the way You do. We lift this in Your Holy name. Amen
I want to invite you to take a walk with me next week as we dive in and discuss the dysfunction and destruction of labels.