As long as I can remember, Sophie – my three year old – has forever fussed about the labels on her clothing items. She hates it when the label on the back of her tee scratches up against the skin of her neck. As the label rubs up against her soft still-somewhat-baby-skin, it scrapes and scratches her. She politely asks me to cut off all the labels. So I grab the scissors and snip off all the labels that hurt her so.
Some of us carry labels around with us like an unwanted limp. We wear these labels as badges and call them trophies of life. A life known by wear and tear. We dress ourselves with these tags as if they are titles beneath our names. We familiarize ourselves with them like the labels on our clothing items. These labels stare at us with a sense of worthlessness, wounding our hearts while whispering snickering words that determine our worth.
These labels represent the hurt of words once spoken over us, painful memories from the past or insecurities that have made a home in our hearts.
Our labels all look different. Some labels over our lives read: fat, ugly, weird, shy, crazy, stupid, weak, desperate, alone, widow, single, barren, poor, etc.
Too much hurt to handle. Too much hurt and no healing.
When I was a little girl, a few years shy of high school, I overheard two of my best friends talking in the bathroom. As I walked closer towards them, I could hear their conversation more clearer. They were gossiping about me. They talked about me, teased me about the colour of my skin and they titled me – ‘a wannabe white’. With my skin slightly darker than theirs, our differences gave them permission to belittle me, and label me a reject. From that moment on I began to feel left out, lonely and lost. My confidence as a young girl was stolen. My identity was shattered, my self-worth shipwrecked and my future sabotaged.
When our identity is found in the words of man – we are like the foolish man who built his house on the sand, without any proper foundations. But when our identity is found in Christ, we are like the wise man who built his house on solid rock, solid foundations – when the uncertainties of life get thrown our way, we remain unshaken.
They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built – Luke 6:48
It is only in the hands of our Heavenly Father, that we are healed and made whole. God comes with his shears and he cuts off every label that has previously been prescribed over our lives and He gives us a new name. He calls us His own.
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – John 1:12
Our identity needs to be found in who He says we are! He cuts off every label that once defined us and He covers us with His love and He calls us His child. We wear our new labels which now read: Child of God! We are no longer enslaved by the labels that once congested our view of life. We are now encouraged by the One who renews our vision for life.
He replaces my ‘wallowing why‘ with a ‘wondering who‘. And that who is Jesus. Who does He say you are?
I give you the name Peter, a stone. And this truth of who I am will be the bedrock foundation on which I will build my church – Mathew 16:18
What name does He give you?
Child of God: John 1:12 – Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
Friend of God: John 15:15 – I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends.
Chosen by God: 1 Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.
Created by God: 2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Conquerors in God: Romans 8:37 – No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Loved by God: Romans 8:38 – For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We need to eliminate the labels that once suppressed us and instead illuminate the love that now sustains us.
This is what He says to you today, ‘Daughter, you were always loved, never labelled.’