LabelHave you ever given labels much thought?  In this context of labels I am talking about labeling people. Society seems to have a type of pecking order. If you’re successfulin title or income, you’re at the top of the pecking order — admired, well-liked, and people look up to you.  But if you’re poor, work at a menial job, or are a criminal, you are judged, not trusted and looked down upon.

Do you see the labels? Doctor, lawyer, judge — these are often considered good labels. Waitress, housekeeper, janitor — these are often considered bad labels. Interestingly, these labels and standings in society can change in one day. What if one day you’re a smart, thriving high school student and the next day you’re a pregnant teen? My thoughts are it takes a lot of courage to accept the responsibility and face the shame of society in becoming a teen mom. But where do they stand?  How are they labeled?

Labels are the filter in which we view life and ourselves.  But what if no one knew how much money you make or your past or present circumstance? They just knew you for who you were at that moment — another human being engaging in a conversation and enjoying each other’s company. There was no ego involved, no standards, no judgment.  Would this world be a much better place?

I believe in each of us is a fear that “if anyone really knew me they would not like me”— a deep shame of who we really are — not good enough for this world’s standards.

I remember years ago when I began my journey with walking and talking to God, I was struggling to be the best wife, mother and good Christian as possible.  During my quiet time, God showed me an awesome principle: He showed me that those were things I did (doing), not who I was (being).  I am a human “being,” His child, created in his image, fearfully and wonderfully made. That gave me a sense of being I had never felt before — a sense of rest from striving to live up to proving my worth to others by using the labels and standards the world places on me. Free to be me!

Written by Renee Blankenship

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