The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. – Psalm 119:130
We can allow the names we call ourselves to define us. We can let the labels that others give us define us.
After all, from the time we’re born, and then throughout life, we’re put in a box. We’re defined by our family of origin, address, education, experience, bank account, credit rating, employer, friends, race, and ethnicity. We’re called one thing after another: poor, spoiled, uneducated, inexperienced, young, old, troublemaker, shy. We can allow those words and labels to limit us.
A teacher, parent, colleague, or ex can call us loser, fat, ugly, and hopeless – and those labels can stick, hurt, and damage us because we start to believe them.
Remember that old saying, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names can never hurt me”? That thought may help us keep a resilient will, but it’s not true about the heart.
We can be hurt plenty by labels like:
Names like these can break our spirits as much as physical sticks and stones can whack our bodies – especially if we believe them and begin to use them on ourselves. We can be brought to our knees, stopped in life before we even get started. Even when those names reveal something true about us, they are at best a partial truth – as well as a misleading one.
If we allow those labels to loom larger in our hearts and minds than the promises of God, they can fool us into missing God’s truth about who we are, into not pursuing the purpose God has had in mind for us from the beginning of time.
Our heads can insist that God created us and loves us, but our hearts and emotions may keep punching away at that knowledge with such thoughts as: “What’s wrong with me? I never seem to do anything right!” Eventually, we feel an overwhelming sense of worthlessness and rejection, because that is what untruth does. It beats us down and knocks us out.
When there is a fight between my heart and my head, experience has taught me that the best thing to do is pick up my Bible and remind myself of what God says.
Excerpted with permission from Living Life Undaunted by Christine Caine, copyright Zondervan, 2014.
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What are some of the labels (enemy lies) that have been used to describe you? Scratch through all those labels and replace each one with something that God would use to describe you, such as loyal, kind, generous, caring, and devoted.
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