I've been listening to some podcasts lately on my drive into work, and today I listened to a sermon call "#hashtag" by Perry Noble. He talked about the labels we are given and give to ourselves and how we wear those around. It got me to thinking today.
I've slapped a few labels on myself over the years, and I'm sure you have as well. I was "perfectionist" and "damaged goods" and "victim" and many other labels for many years. Some of you wear the label of "addict" or "divorcee" or "stupid" or "unwanted" or "mistake" because of the circumstances in your life. Some of you have worn those labels for so long that they are ingrained within your very being. Some of you had those labels put there by a parent or a teacher at a very young age, and all of your life you've believed the lie. Some of you have placed the labels there yourself, then refused to forgive yourselves and so you still carry it today.
Let me propose this to you today. You didn't make you, so you don't have the right to label you. Just like slapping a bull on my car doesn't make it a Lambourghini, slapping a label on yourself (or having it slapped there by someone else) doesn't make it true for you either. God made you. He made me too. The bible tells us that he knit us together in our mothers' wombs. He is the designer of all of us, and therefore, only God has the right to label us.
But how does he label us? Well, I'm glad you asked!
If we are followers of Christ, here is what the bible tells us we ARE.
1. friends of God..."I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father" (John 15:15).
2.Justified! "But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:24).
3.New! "So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away--look, what is new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17)
4. Righteous. "God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21).
5. FREE "For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery" (Galatians 5:1).
6. Chosen, Holy and Blameless (seriously!) "For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love (Ephesians 1:4).
7.Redeemed and forgiven. "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace" (Ephesians 1:7).
8. Alive! "But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you are saved" (Ephesians 2:4-5
9.His workmanship. "For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them" (Ephesians 2:10)
10. Chosen. "We know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you" … (1 Thessalonians 1:4)
11.Wonderfully made! "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well" (Psalm 139:14)
How about we start seeing ourselves in light of the labels that our Creator has given us, the only one who really has any right to label us at all? So, what have you been calling yourself or believing that others are calling you that you're gonna give up today? I'd love to pray with you as you work to believe His words.