40 Days | DAY 31
It is so easy to get labeled or self-label early on in life. I can look at my own young children and see how they internalize certain labels. These labels often set a trajectory for how we see ourselves all the way into adulthood. Labels are often difficult, if not impossible, to overcome because they get engrained into our psyche. Proverbs 23:7a says “As a person thinks in his/her heart so is he/she…” Labels become part of our identity and misshape us. Most days, labels are the topic of the internal conversation we have with our own selves. Crazy thing is the label doesn’t even have to be bad or negative. It can be this loose, neutral-type word or phrase spoken over us in our own home, and it just sticks like glue for some random reason. When that happens, the enemy of our soul who is out to steal, kill and destroy us (John 10.10) leverages it for all its worth to push us away from trusting Jesus for who we are and who we are becoming.
One of my kids (who I won’t name) deals with the label “shy”. “I am shy, I am shy…” is said over and over, as if it is the defining element of his/her personality. It also becomes an excuse to be quiet, to look away instead of meeting eyes with another person, to have passive body language and appear disconnected when really he/she is totally present. Shy on the surface doesn’t seem so bad, negative or mean, but shyness as a defining element can be catastrophic in the future. It can be the very thing that holds him/her back from whatever God is calling him/her into in life. It can stunt his/her spiritual, emotional and relational growth. It is not just a phase he/she will grow out of, but rather a label the enemy is already using to keep him/her in the background when he/she may be called to the forefront to do battle for Jesus in this world. The reason I am sensitive to, see it and know the effects of it, is because it was my own personal label I carried for so long. The great thing is I am convinced with God’s help I can coach him/her out of it over time. I know life and death are in the power of the tongue, and I will get to speak life and boldness over him/her daily until we can rip the label off his/her soul. Regrettably, I never had that help from someone else, so I grappled the hard way and lived far too long and suffered more loss than necessary because this label was so stuck to my inmost being.
Whatever the label is, if it is not a biblical truth, it is a lie…plain and simple. If God wouldn’t say it to you or about you, then your enemy satan is the influence behind the label. Remember, he is the father of lies. The label is a lie meant to disconnect you from Jesus. So take captive that thought; pin that thought to the wall of your mind and don’t let it live there any longer. Maybe in your prayer time today ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the word(s) or phrase(s) that roll around in your head and heart about you that aren’t true, the words keeping you from God’s plan and God’s best. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see you the way your Heavenly Father sees you and not the way you and/or others do! Isaiah promises His thoughts are higher thoughts; meaning He thinks the best thoughts about you and wants you to get hold of those thoughts! Then, maybe take a bigger faith-step this semester by signing up for a J-Group and begin talking about the labels in your life with others who probably struggle with their own labels too. James says if you do – true inner healing will come (James 5.17).
…think God’s thoughts about you…
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