Book Club Wednesday
Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst
Chapter 3 The Prisoners
Labels are the worst! "They imprison us in categories that are hard to escape."
Baby in the family.
No matter what label people might stick on you it can make you feel bad, or less than. Have you ever read the Max Lucado book, You ARE Special. It's about a little boy who gets labeled and because of his low self esteem every time someone says something negative about him he lets it affect him. Poor guy. And the words leave a mark (dot) on his body. But then he meets a little girl with no marks a lot of confidence. When people try to label her and say things about her she just goes to her Maker and reminds herself who she really is. "The dots only stick if you let them."
I love this children story because I am like that little boy Punchinello. I let people's words leave their mark (dot) on me. I let their words affect me. And sometimes it's even someone's lack of words. I have realized that one of my love languages is Words of Affirmation. I think that's why I like Facebook. Instant gratification that I am ok, that the job I am doing as a mom is good, that I am good enough that I am accepted all by a simple "liking" from another person on Facebook or a sweet comment. It's really the dumbest thing ever.
I should be more like the little girl who isn't affected by positive or negative comments from others. I should be more interested in sitting at my Makers feet and learning from him. Not busy waiting to hear a positive response from people on Facebook.
Labels can also make us more susceptible to comparing ourselves to others. If we are unorganized we may say, "Why can't I have a house like ______________?" Or if we don't cook well, "Why can't I cook meals like _____________?" Instead of doing the best we can with the gifts/talents we are given we want what others have. And in this day and age (media driven) everyone knows everyone else's strengths AND weaknesses by scrolling down their Instagram pics or Facebook profile, or reading their tweets. Seriously, do we leave anything left to the imagination anymore?
But is change possible? If you are always late, should you just accept it, and label yourself a late comer, or should you challenge yourself to strive to be on time? I know there are times when I want to give up in certain areas, but the Holy Spirit always convicts me to keep pressing on and keep trying. I ask God to change me, and to mold me, and chisel me, because I don't want to stay stuck in a bad habit or way.
One thing I love about God's word...He teaches us to give grace to others because we need so much grace, and he also teaches us to press on towards change.
"For we are God's Workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." --Ephesians 2: 10
The longer I live, the more I see how we are all so broken and we all need grace extended to us. As a newlywed I would sit in the pew at church and silently wonder why these families who strolled in late every week could be so rude!? I mean really...can't you people be on time ever. And as God added another baby in my life...all 4 times....I started to see just how challenging it can be to feed, wash, and dress 5 people and get to church on time. Does that mean I have given up and stroll into church late every week? Absolutely not! But if I see someone come in late I no longer have that critical thought. My first inclination is a heart of grace, especially for nursing mothers, the elderly, and families with young children. You just never now how hard it can be to drive to church in a van with 5 people until you do it each week.
Before you label others or start to be critical of other people, take a walk in their shoes. Think about what their life was like 15 minutes before you saw them. And pray for others instead of critiquing them. Watch the words of judgment before they come out of your mouth. I didn't mean to dwell on the time example I guess that is one that is near and dear to my heart because I care so much about being timely and it bothers me immensely if/when we arrive late anywhere. I've had to learn to give myself some grace!
Call it Grace
1. Identify the label as a lie meant to tear me down.
2. I chose to view this circumstance as a call to action, not a call to beat myself up mentally.
3. I used the momentum of tackling one label to help me tackle more.
Don't let labels imprison you. Trust God to chisel and change you. We are all beautiful in His sight. He made us and we are not perfect but a work in progress!