Article by: Sarah Koontz, Founder of Living by Design Ministries
For the rest of your life, people will be trying to find words to describe you, to sum you up, and to categorize you.
Humans label things, it’s what they do.
And if you are not careful, you will start to define yourself by the labels others have placed upon you.
This is a grave mistake.
Human labels may be a fact of life, but that doesn’t mean they have to rule our life.
We can choose to receive or reject them.
We can choose to live by them or live them up.
We can allow them to stunt our growth or we can outgrow them.
What Labels are Stuck on Your Soul?
A few months ago, I received an invitation to speak at my old high school.
I immediately knew that I wanted to talk to the students about the hidden dangers of labeling one another.
Because the labels that are placed upon us by teachers, classmates, friends and foes have the power to cling to our souls well into adulthood.
I challenge you to think back on your high school years and remember labels you wore during that season of life.
Are you surprised at how easy it is to remember the labels that defined you so long ago?
I believe it is is because most of us spend our adult life trying to either escape or recapture the labels of our past.
We long to escape the labels that isolate, frustrate, and haunt us.
Conversely, we have an insatiable desire to recapture labels that made us feel valuable, worthy and significant.
And every label we choose to wear has a price tag!Most of us spend our adult life trying to escape or recapture the labels of our past.
Do any of the labels hastily slapped on your heart by others capture your true identity, your ultimate role, your purpose for living?
Because the only One who has the authority to label us is the One who created us.The only One who has the authority to label us is the One who created us.
In the same way that an inventor gets to name his invention, and tell the world why he invented it—our Creator God has named us, and told the world why He created us.
We can find this beautiful truth wrapped up in the promise of Isaiah 43:6-7, where it says, “Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth–everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” [NIV]
Never has there been nor ever will there be someone just like you.
You are God’s daughter (or son) and you were exclusively, extensively, and exhaustively designed for HIS glory.You were exclusively, extensively, and exhaustively designed for God's glory.
But God didn’t stop there!
The Bible is overflowing with beautiful labels, attributes, and declarations about us….God’s beloved children.
Here are just a few of the eternal labels your Creator has given you:
You are a child of God.
An incredible work of art,
The Salt of the Earth,
A Joint-Heir with Christ,
The temple of the Holy Spirit.
You part of a chosen generation,
a royal priesthood,
a holy nation.
You are God’s workmanship,
Created for His glory,
Purchased with the blood of Jesus,
So, the next time someone tries to sum you up, describe you, or categorize you, I challenge you to consider these three things:
Consider the Source – Hurting people hurt people.
Consider the Cost – Every label we receive has a price tag.
Consider the Cross – Does this label increase your dependency on Jesus Christ?
Human labels are opinion, nothing more. God’s labels are fact, nothing less.Human labels are opinion, nothing more. God’s labels are fact, nothing less.
I truly enjoyed preparing and delivering my talk on labels to 180+ students and faculty at Raipd City Christian School in December.
I have shared a few video clips of the talk on social media, but I also wanted to make the complete video available to you today.
This message is so dear to my heart, and I’ve lovingly labeled it the “Peanut Butter Talk.”
It won’t take you long to figure out why…..
I pray it is an encouragement to you today.
Some Concluding Thoughts….
And finally, I charge you to be cautious about the words you use to label others.
Proverbs 18:1 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
Your words have sticking power — they will cling to the souls of your loved ones for decades.
“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:4