Wednesday, February 05, 2020

labels are for jars

maybe the reason we struggle to accept our identity in Christ is because of the other labels that have been attached to us for so long.

if you hear yourself described as something for so long, you can't help but to start believing it's who you are.

too shy/tall/short // dumb blonde // big-boned // dropout // worthless // stubborn // lazy // uncoordinated // addicted // loud mouth // loser // hot-tempered // control freak // guilty

people inadvertently give people labels all the time without realizing the potential damage it's doing to their identity. parents are especially good at this. as if getting to choose our baby's name isn't enough, we also have the power to form their identity with the words we say about them. 

preemie // brat // accident // stupid // overweight // nerd // skinny // failure // hyper // stubborn // distracted //  weak  // bully // mama's boy // underachiever // troublemaker // picky eater // spoiled

we don't even realize we're doing it. the trouble is when we take a fact about someone - their circumstance or behavior - and make it part of who they are

grown adults still identify as preemies and struggle to believe they are capable of certain things because they were born too early, too tiny, not ready to breathe or eat on her own. yall: grown adults live in insecurity because of a label they were given at birth. a fact about their birth became a label they wear that excuses them, excludes them, limits them, identifies them, and HOLDS THEM IN BONDAGE. 

because if i'm always told i was too early, too tiny, too sick, not ready for life, how in the world am i supposed to believe that God calls me an overcomer, God's workmanship, wonderfully made in His image, capable of doing all things through Christ who strengthens me, chosen, loved, and called to righteousness!?! 

we love to stick these potentially permanent labels on other people, our children, and even ourselves. some popular self-labels:

single // sick // any number or descriptor on any "personality test"  // unemployed // fat/skinny // introvert/extrovert // weak // hot mess // sensitive // ugly // victim // unseen // workaholic //  people pleaser // uneducated // broke // left out // not creative // too old // awkward // broken

we love our labels so much that we follow social media accounts, buy books, t-shirts, and laptop stickers to affirm them. we want to surround ourselves with people who wear the same labels as us. we live in these little boxes we built for ourselves: labeled and limited. we're wrecking ourselves by identifying as our circumstances, our past, and our shortcomings.

when we use these kinds of absolute labels to describe ourselves, our children, or other people, we diminishes the cross. Jesus didn't die so i could forever believe myself to be eryn, type A overachiever insecure homeschool mom with body image issues who struggles with anxiety. 

yo! i am more than that! i'm a Daughter of the King! and so are you! let's follow social media accounts and buy books to affirm that! let's surround ourselves with people who call that out in us!

i refuse to identify with labels that disregard what God says about me. and you should, too.  

God knows all of the facts about us but he doesn't use them as labels. despite what we've been through, what we did, what we look like, what people have said about us, God calls us HIS, SEEN, PROTECTED, FORGIVEN, INCLUDED, LOVED, CREATED ON PURPOSE, OVERCOMER, CHOSEN, BEAUTIFUL, SEEN, WORTH LOVING, STRONG, SIGNIFICANT, BRAVE, FREE, ACCEPTED.

our labels and words could be the only thing holding someone back, stifling growth, and preventing potential. 
God sees us, has good plans for us, and wants us to rip off the labels we put on ourselves and the ones we've been wearing all our lives, and realize our true identity is in Him. get out of your head, get into the Word, and learn to speak life. 

no matter what labels people put on you, rest in the truth that as a child of God your identity is already firmly established in Him, unchanging and beautiful. labels are for jars. let's stop labeling ourselves and our kids and use our words to call out the truth of who we are and Whose we are! 

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. 
And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, 
who loved me and gave himself for me." 
-Galatians 2:20

"we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, 
which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." 
-Ephesians 2:10

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, 
God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you 
out of darkness into his wonderful light" 
-1 Peter 2:9