party blogs: Soli Deo Gloria (Jen rocks!)
I despise labels and roles...they remind me of being forced to sit in the same chair at the dinner table because nobody likes change. Or perhaps they are less comfortable with spontaneity...prefer routine?
Sure, labels on merchandise help you buy baking powder so you don't make the mistake of buying baking soda, but human labels...limit people. Labels lie. Hurt actually.
Some labels are desirable, but mostly I don't want them. I find myself getting too tangled up in them and trying to doing something to keep those labels...skinny, doesn't look her age, pretty, responsible, great mom, good Christian girl...It's exhausting.
Roles aren't as bad. Some roles bring balance to what could be disastrous otherwise. Like we need teachers to assume the role of teaching otherwise it is harder to learn or in the case of Calculus and me: impossible.
BUT, roles and labels when mixed together can taste unpleasant. Take the good Christian girl label and the expected role is to never fail or sin. The pressure is on to perform. And in my experience, I have heard, "We don't have to worry about her." Huh? How is it fair to place that kind of condition on someone?
So in response to feeling tired of roles and labels I wrote the following poem:
From the whitewashed door
a pungent odor reveals what is dwelling behind—
A mass of hysteria
Stories or debates,
opinions fly in the air.
It is more than nicotine
that chokes the peace
and keeps this moment unfair.
A crescendo chorus.
Who will give in first?
If you join, criticism is free
and the deal becomes a curse.
Back and forth—
The truth is never told.
A family affair dines—
“in my chair”—I’m given my role.
Okay, the poem is not a happy one. I know. But, there is one really GREAT way to fight labels. Replace them with God's truth...with what He says about us in His word. God doesn't give us labels. He knows us by name not a label. I can't stop people from labeling me...heck I am even guilty of labeling myself and some roles are just plain hard to get out of, but the beauty of our amazing God is that He provides hope, healing and victory from what ails us on this earth.
When I hear the label "good Christian girl" I can remember these verses:
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. -Galatians 2:20
For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. -Philippians 2:13
Some labels are fact like I am a woman, but to the ones that are not I can say, "I am a child of God and Christ lives in me. I am forgiven, precious, loved, redeemed, and worthy.
Those are good labels aren't they?