November 15, 2011
“I have called you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1b (NLT)
I ran down the stairs to find the usual smattering of bright red, green and silver wrapped boxes full of gifts. I tore into them, anticipating the many things I’d written on my long Christmas wish list. All the gifts excited me. But one, in particular, was a favorite: my very own shiny black label maker.
In the weeks to come, I would put labels on everything. My shoes had white sticky strips with gray crooked letters that spelled ‘Lisa’ on them. So did my books, my bags, my plastic baton handle and even my padded bicycle seat. I took great pleasure in tagging the things I loved with my name.
But as the years went on, I used labels in different ways. I labeled myself as confident when deep down, I was really afraid. I labeled myself as bad when I became weighted down by my sin. Even as an adult, when my husband and I closed the church we started just 13 months earlier, I labeled myself a failure.
Labels. Not all of them are good.
Often, the labels we put on ourselves as grown women can create holes inside us — the kind of internal voids that only God can fill. We do this when we pluck one negative experience from our life, or even, a positive one, and we decide that our life story, worth and future rests on the label our experience has created. It is then that we fail to remember that the only label we need ever wear is the one that says we belong to Jesus.
Jesus did not create us to wear the labels of this world, even the ones we place on ourselves. Instead, He created us as His “dearly loved children” (Eph. 5:1 NIV).
Labels get in the way of this. They keep us tagged with unhealthy stigmas, emotions and pieces from our past that weigh on us and stifle His intention for our life.
The truth is, our experiences do not own us unless we give them permission. Instead, we have access to the power of God to help us peel off the labels, so we may start living a whole new story — our own story of wholeness.
Are you ready to live without your labels? If you are, then you are in the right place.
Because today, Jesus wants you to know that His label of love has covered all the rest. And with that covering, no other label has room to stick.
Dear Lord, thank You for being the only label I need wear. Help me to take off the other labels I have been given, even by myself. May I know, today, that identity in You offers freedom…and may I receive it into the deepest places of my heart by the power of Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Have you struggled to move past the labels you have had in your life?
How can I begin to see myself with only the label of “child of God”?
Galatians 1:15, “But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace.” (NLT)
2 Peter 1:3, “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.” (NLT)