We live in a world made up of labels. We love them when they make everything feel tidy and organized. Labels are everywhere telling us what to expect and are indeed helpful in identifying things. But I am not talking about the labels that are on our cans of green beans or the labels that we put on our notebooks.
I am talking about the labels that other people might put on us.
It could be a nickname we were bullied with, or could be from something else in our past. Often these labels are lies that the enemy is feeding us. It changes the way that we live because of patterns that we have kept for a long time. Those are just some examples of where labels like I will always be this, or I will always be that come from.
They seem to stick, and we appear to let them because sometimes even we start to believe them. And with that comes the danger of losing who we are in Christ and the identity, or label, that he has given to us.
The truth about who you are can be found as you listen to and are led by
the Holy Spirit and wear the beautiful labels that he has for you.
Living out Our Authentic Identity
When you and I live out of our authentic identity, we have confidence and direction to become all God created us to be. And when we know the truth about who God says we are it becomes harder and harder for the labels of the enemy to stick to us.
In Ephesians 2:11-3:6 we see Paul talking to the Gentile Christians. He is describing to them the unity that they have in Christ. He is explaining to them the gift of the Body of Christ, and that they are one in Christ. They are not outsiders anymore. We are brought into a family and called to unity as a result of that.
Ephesians 2:14-15 speaks of broken down walls and peace.
“For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.”
Even within the Body labels were being used as weapons amongst believers. But Jesus came to break walls down not build them up.
So if labels are inevitable, what do we do when they are thrown at us?
Remember RIC to help you leave your labels:
Remember that you cannot control what other people think or say about you. You cannot control if other people are operating under a legalistic mindset. You can’t control that, but you can control you.
Imagine labels like a ball somebody throws to you. If someone tosses a label on you, if they make a judgment about you, visualize it as a ball and catch it in your hand. Then examine that label and say “Does this label line up with the truth of who God says I am?” The way you handle labels when you are met with one makes all the difference. Does what someone is saying line up with what God says about you? No? Then it has no place in your life.
Choose your own labels and find liberty in them! The thing is, we really don’t have control of what other people say about us. We don’t. We do have control over which labels we are going to allow to define us. There is power in claiming our identity in Christ.
You and I want to live out of the labels that we receive from Christ. The key to doing that is choosing your own labels. In doing this, you walk under God’s power instead of giving power to the labels others place on you.
Nourish Scripture: Ephesians 2:11-3:6
Blog written by Aliene Thompson. Aliene Thompson is the founder of Treasured Ministries and the Author of the Nourish Bible Study Series. © 2019 Treasured Ministries.