(Luke 6:37 ) “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;”
This world is full of all kinds of people, places, things, and ideas…, and with all that comes labels and judgement. We (all of us) are very good at judging things and people and finding no fault in ourselves. We love to make up reasons why people and things are the way they are, while making excuses for our own misbehaving and thoughtlessness. We label everyone except ourselves and if labeled long enough, people start to believe those labels no matter how untrue. I was there, I believed all the nasty things a person was telling me, and saying about me, and it made me question my worth and my purpose. But scripture and Godly connections, reminded me that I am NOT what those particular labels said, I started to make changes in my life, befriended people who spoke life to me and encouraged me, and gave me different labels; (Proverbs 18:21) “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
I want to encourage you to change your labels to see things and people (including yourself) differently no matter how unlovely. Let your reward be good and sweet for the good you speak to and of other people.
I recently took a personality test – another way to label oneself – but I was curious to see how much my personality label has changed over time—it hasn’t; in case you’re wondering, according to this test I’m an INFJ-T. Some co-workers and I were talking about astrological signs, and as much as I’ve never viewed astrology as having much credibility, I am resolved to admit that I am very much what my sign says I am. My astrological sign and my personality assessmentafford me a label that is often, and understandably, misunderstood and so I am labeled in an attempt to make sense of my differences and idiosyncrasies. That’s how we get labels; lack of understanding and appreciation for something or someone. In my opinion, the most boring sport to watch on television is golf. I’ve never seen it live, but I can only assume that it’s even less exciting to stand and watch it happening. I’ve labeled it “boring,” because I don’t understand it, and don’t really want to take the time to learn.
That’s how we are with people. We see someone and can’t figure out why they do the things they do. They do things we don’t like or understand, they look a certain way that doesn’t match our ideals, preferences and taste, they like things we find uninteresting and beneath us … and so we perch ourselves on our pedestals and start tossing out labels… you don’t do enough and it’s not my way –YOU ARE WORTHLESS/ you don’t dress or wear your hair like me – YOU ARE UGLY AND OLD FASHIONED / you weigh more than me – YOU ARE FAT/ you can’t read as well as I can – YOU ARE STUPID / you don’t think like I do about the world and current events – YOU ARE UNEDUCATED/ you don’t fight back – YOU’RE A WIMP/ you don’t make as much money and don’t have as many things as I do – YOU ARE A FAILURE/ you don’t believe what I believe – YOU ARE NOT AS GOOD A PERSON AS I AM … and we go on and on labeling people.
We do this because we all want to feel better about ourselves, and refuse to acknowledge our own insecurities. But, the moment our target turns on us and labels us as mean, condescending, manipulative, uppity bullies, we have a problem. Instead of saying, “I did do those things, and called those names, and made that person feel some kind of way,” we get self-righteous and add to our negative list of labels.
We live in a time when people are desperate for love, affection, and affirmation and there is plenty out there, we are just going about it the wrong way. Love does not come from stomping on our neighbor’s self-esteem or discrediting their accomplishments and aspirations. Negating a person’s value and resorting to gossip, backstabbing, bullying, and abuse does not really make you look better, it simply makes you look all the more desperate for love and approval.
EVERYONE has value, no matter how much you dislike them or how little you care about them. We cannot exist and not exist at the same time, and no one was created for the purpose of doing nothing. Everything that exists is meant for specific purposes, and if those purposes seem out of place to you, it’s probably because it has nothing to do with you. Things are not always going to make sense, and not all people are meant for you to know. I am not liked by everyone, but It’s not my obligation to become more valuable to you so you like me more, it is my hope that you find it your obligation to withhold judgment, acquire new perspectives, and look for the good, and in so doing, you find and appreciate my value.
My purpose and your purpose were created for certain times, certain people, and certain circumstances; in other words, we are not all meant to go the same way, in the same way, at the same time. Look around you, that person you’re laughing at, ignoring, disrespecting, mocking, and putting down may be the person you need to rely on at some point in the future. How do you want them to remember you?
Respecting someone is taking the time to get to know them. Challenge yourself: over the next 7 days to identify 2 people you don’t know well, but have decided you don’t like, and make an effort to get to know them. You may be surprised at what you learn.
Lastly, don’t live up to labels that put you down. If you don’t like what you are hearing about you, and you know it’s true, change it.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Be good, be gracious, and be a blessing to someone today!
“Don’t bully me, believe in me. Don’t backstab me, back me up. Don’t label me – listen to me.” SJackson ————————————————————————
Other personality tests: