Stuck-up, nerd, dumb blonde, geek, stupid, worthless, failure, disappointment, liar, shallow, a nobody. These are some of the “labels” that over the course of my life others have placed upon me. Is that who I am? Am I really those “labels”?
I’m a shopper, I love it and I won’t apologize for it. I don’t believe it makes me a “shallow” Christian; it makes me a normal human being. Just recently I purchased a new jacket at Costco and thought I had removed all of the labels. I then proceeded to proudly sport my new jacket out on the town with my husband. We went out to dinner, spoke to a few people along the way and went home. As I was hanging up my jacket that night, I noticed a label on my left sleeve that was in the form of a large clear sticker with the name of the brand in big bold letters and the size predominately displayed. I was horrified. Here I had been walking around with this label on me declaring what I was wearing and the size I was wearing –which the size happened to be a Large! (Anyone else out there experience this?) I was allowing this label to tell the world who I am.
The Samaritan woman in the Bible is one of the women who can relate to this “labeling”. Do you remember her; she is the woman at the well who met Jesus. When Jesus saw her she was covered with labels.
First of all she was a Samaritan and in those days, Samaritans were considered to be lower class compared to the Jews and everyone around them knew it. Samarians were in a sense discriminated against because their religious views differed from the Jews. The Jewish people avoided them in travel and in social settings. (If you’d like to dig deeper on this subject, here’s a great link): Samaritans: Then and Now
In Luke 4:16-17 Jesus is in conversation with this woman. 16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”17 “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
What do you think the kind of “labels” this woman was walking around with? For one, FAILURE was one of the labels she was carrying, that’s pretty evident. I think that’s a big one most of us can relate to.
As Jesus continued to talk to this woman He gave her hope. Hope for a new chance at take off those labels and to gain a better understanding of who she was created to be. Salvation had come to her.
When we allow Jesus to take the “labels” that others have placed on us we will experience freedom and begin to see ourselves for who we truly are in Christ. For the Samaritan woman at the well, it took meeting Jesus just once to remove the “labels” of her past. Personally, my “labels” are still in the removal process; each one being gently removed from my heart and mind daily.
God knows who YOU really ARE. Are you ready to remove the “labels” that others have placed on you? Start a conversation with Jesus today and see what freedoms you can experience.
*My next blog will be about what God says Who You Are in Christ…… be encouraged!