Our culture is constantly putting labels on virtually everything. We put labels on not only the things around us, but the people as well. Whether we realize it or not we try to compartmentalize people into these boxes, giving them a label so its "easy" for us to make decisions on who we think they are based on labels others speak over them. Take for instance John the Baptist, we call him this as a way to identify who he is and what his mission on earth was all about. John was born in order to prepare the way for Christ and lead the way for others to get to know Christ. On more than one occasion in scripture we see John baptizing people in the name of the Lord.
We gave John this title because it allows us to easily identify him and his mission. We often allow the labels that have been placed on us to define us and keep us from reaching our full potential. Scripture does not tell us we are limited by our labels it says, we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus! Another instance in scripture we see a label being placed on someone by others is the disciple Thomas. we pick up the story in John 20:24 -25,
"One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side."
It is from this passage we get the term doubting Thomas. We take a moment when Thomas is expressing honestly how he feels about the news being shared with him, and give him the label of doubter. From a moment of honesty we summarize it by simply saying he's a doubter. From one perspective he was seen as a doubter, but I would wager that from another perspective he would have been seen very differently, perhaps he would have been labeled honest Thomas or realistic Thomas. There is always more than one perspective of a person. We are all more the our labels.
The passage then goes on to tell us that a week later Jesus appears again this time when Thomas is present with the other disciples. He shows Thomas His hands and feet and the spear mark on His side, but it is what He says about belief in verse 29, that I want you to catch.
" Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me."
Blessed are those who believe without seeing. It's one thing to believe in things you can see, it is a lot harder to believe in something that you can't see or even touch.
The labels others others and ourselves place on us can keep us trap in a continuous cycle. No matter what way we go we seem to be going in circles with no way out. You Are More Than Your Labels. Those labels only tell one side of the story, a story that takes a lifetime to on fold. Those labels are not who you are. No matter what culture says, you are not your labels. You are so much more! No matter what label has been placed on you either recently or in the past, remember that label is not who you are, you are more than your labels.
As always remember you have a God-given uniqueness!
Shalom ~ Alianna