Removing the labels
'We have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view.' 2 Corinthians 5:16 NLT
People label people - based on their personality, appearance, capabilities, nationality, gender, or many other things. We like to be able to fit people into neat categories. But labelling causes division not unity, exclusion not inclusion, prejudice not love. 'Them and us.'
This is definitely not the message that Jesus brought to the world. He demonstrated unity, inclusion and love, and he calls us to show the same. When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well, he defied the labels and rules the society at that time had defined. This is how the meeting unfolded... Jesus asked the woman for a drink and she replied with 'You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink' (John 4:9 NIV)? Jews and Samaritans didn't associate with one another, this woman had been divorced five times and she was a Gentile. So Jesus talking to this woman would've been shocking. But he looked beyond the labels the society had imposed.
Let's avoid labelling others. Those who are labelled can start to believe it and act like the label is true, rather than basing their identity on what God says about them. Removing labels can be really hard, so let's be careful with what we're speaking over people. And let's work towards unity, inclusion and love, just as Jesus did.
So what now? Is there someone you know who seems to always be on the side-line because they are slightly different? Make the effort to spend some time with them and include them this week.
Soulfood: Isa 38-41 Luke 2:34-40 Ps 74:1-11 Pro 2:6,