We all know that person in high school who was labeled “the jock,” “the cheerleader,” “the nerd,” “the band geek,” or “the Goth.”
Our generation is so wrapped up in themselves that we don’t even realize that we probably have a label too, and I would almost suggest that it’s not something that we would be proud to be “branded” by.
The problem that so often entangles us, is that when we label people, we rob ourselves, and them, of ever potentially getting passed that label and seeing them for who they really are.
No one wants to be identified by a label, because we see ourselves as so much more than that, and we are! So why do we do it to others? In Matthew 7:12 it commands us to, “treat people the same way you want them to treat you.” So, I want to challenge you to “lose the label.”
Whenever you are in the grocery store, you have to base all of your decisions on the label of whatever you are thinking of buying, because it’s your only preview of what’s actually inside. However, that is only a glimpse into what could potentially be inside.
Sure, it might contain all of the ingredients that you love, or, on the contrary, all the ones you hate, but until you actually give it a try, you’ll never know if it’s something that your pallet enjoys.
People are the same way.
When I was growing up, my parent’s always tried to teach me that I should try to see the world through other people’s eyes. I’m not perfect by any means, but I’ve grown up thinking that way, so, many times, I often put myself in other people’s shoes, and most of the time, I don’t like what I see.We are so quick to pass judgment on a person because of their outside appearance, either good or bad.
It’s really hard to stand up for the truth when the popular thing to do is to join in the mocking and brutal slander of people, but the Bible tells us that they will know we are Christians by our love. John 13:35 states, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
I don’t think it could be any clearer than that. How you treat a person is what illustrates God’s love for them, especially is you profess to be a Christian.
Ironically enough, the “label” of being a Christian has been tarnished in recent days.
People think we are pushovers or out of control activists. Let’s remember, only God can pass judgment on people, so in the meantime, let’s observe His Word, and love them instead. How much would change in your world by simply loving the “labels” at your school, work, or even church?
Let’s be honest, you’ve probably already thought of someone in your church that you’ve labeled and written off because of their outward appearance. Perhaps they’ve been down a very rough road and had no one to turn to, so they lash out, or their parents just divorced or they have been abused for years. Whatever the case, what is stopping us from losing the labels that so encapsulate our lives, and just loving on people?
We all struggle with the constant tugging to do good or to do evil. Losing the labels of life and treating everyone, perhaps not like they deserve, but at least how you would want to be treated, is a small step that I think we should commit to.
What is stopping you from losing the label and loving on people the way Christ commands us to?
Let us know in the comments.
Kellie Spencer completed her Bachelor of Science degree at Florida Christian College (FCC) and is currently the Director of Admissions at the same institution.
She is 26 years old and married to Lance Spencer, who is the Student Minister at Canoe Creek Christian Church. She currently resides in Kissimmee, FL where she was born and raised, and is an only child to her parents.
She enjoys writing for fun and also recently had a chapter published in the book Rooted In Christ, a joint effort by the faculty and staff at FCC.