Let me preface this one by saying... I am incredibly, terribly, horribly guilty of this. It is an ongoing struggle for me that the Lord has just recently within the last year opened my eyes to truly something I am BAD about and need to fix pronto. But it is like the wiring in my brain (or satan) just will not allow it. Or I guess I should give myself some grace and say I am better, more aware, but not healed. OK drum roll please... I am a label maker. I admit it. I label everything. I am not talking about the white ones that spit out of a machine (although I am guilty of those as well) I am talking about the ones in my head. I label people and usually pretty quickly within meeting them. Some are great and I feel really spirit led. Some are horrible. You have got to pardon the language on this but it is so so true (but on a much more G rated scale for me) I pinned something on Pinterest the other day because it made me laugh so hard and it is so so true. It was one of those ecards, it read, "once you hate someone, everything they do is offensive. 'Look at this bitch eating those crackers like she owns the place." OH my gosh! You are guilty of it, admit it, you label someone you do not like and then EVERYTHING they do makes you furious...
What if your labels popped up like those little thought bubbles they use in comics? Can you imagine? "snob, cheater, liar, alcoholic, chain smoker, perfectionist, super fit ho..." you get the idea. My labels have changed lately because God has graciously opened my eyes to the fact that I have no clue what I am talking about or whom I am labeling. Super fit ho, could be broken inside and the only outlet, happy place or ease of her pain could be the gym. Snob could be hiding her tremendous self hatred by lashing out or showing off to others. Cheater could be making his or her way back the Lord and their family slowly but surely and we leave no room forgiveness and grace. We let our kids label other kids- bully (and sometimes rightly so), mean girl, poor, nerd, weird. Instead of teaching them that though some labels may be accurate, especially in one instance or circumstance, but it most definitely does not define the person.
There was a country song when I was in college called "You can't hide beautiful" it was totally cheesy (there you go, a label for you) but true. You also, can't hide ugly. I am well aware of it. My best friend Celia reminded me today of this as I regurgitated some frustrations onto her. She also gave me a quote by Maya Angelo that says "when people show you who they are, believe them." When you can rightly label someone I say go ahead file it away. No need to make it public, no need to ruin your day with it, walk on, let them be. But I strongly urge you and myself do not become a label maker. Take baby steps, at first make NO labels. Then when you get the hang of it ask God to show you how to make good labels. God has given me this new sixth sense that has just made me so sensitive and aware of myself creating labels and when others tell me the labels they have made on others (intentionally or unintentionally).
I was reading my pastors blog a few weeks ago and it was on the top reasons for divorce. One of the top reasons was "failure to realize that I am married to a sinner" WHAT THE WHAT??? He is human? Wait? He sins?? I sin? I was BLOWN away. All this time my expectations of my husband were near perfection. That is EXACTLY what I am doing to others. Failing to realize we are all the same. Every label is exchangeable in some form another. OUCH. I am a super fit ho (minus the fit part), a cheater, liar, perfectionistic sinner plus a million other labels all rolled into one. Luckily one of my labels as I discussed on day one is I am a child of God as well. Shown grace every day and so underserving of everything my God gives me. So before you have to go to rehab with God like me, quit making those labels. Walk around for a few days and just imagine those bubbles and instead of labeling pray that you would be given the opportunity to meet the real label that person should have. I told you on day one we don't do labels in my home- that means we don't label ourselves and we do not label others. Again, guilty, working progress here don't label me a label maker.