By Trish Rife: When my daughter was very young, she had a dusty mauve three-quarter-length suede coat with a pale, furry trim that was feminine, expensive, and gorgeous! She wore it often, but when I picked her up at the end of one particular school day, it was mildly annoying to discover that someone had put one of those nametag labels on her coat rather than on her $10 shirt.
I tried everything to get it off, but even heating up the glue with a hair dryer wouldn’t loosen it up enough to get it off. Regardless of all my efforts, it was useless. Even with dry cleaning, her beautiful coat was ruined.
I recently attended a ladies conference where each of us were given a self-adhesive nametag to wear so we could avoid the need of repeating our names throughout the event. My mind always revisits my daughter’s ruined suede coat whenever I am handed a sticky name label. (Perhaps I’m still a little bitter?!)
I’ve been given nicknames in the past, some of which have also “stuck.” My nephew couldn’t pronounce “Aunt Trish” when he was little, so he called me “Eesh,” the nickname that my brother still writes on every card he sends me, twenty years after my nephew’s labeling. Since I find it endearing, I still adore hearing myself being referred to as “Eesh,” but what do we do when someone labels us something a little less endearing than we would like?
Many are wholly convinced that what people have labeled them as is just as factual as the name on their birth certificate. Children can be especially cruel when bestowing labels on their peers but, oftentimes, we women can be equally guilty. Some have been labeled “ugly, ignorant, useless, insignificant, unwanted, unloved, disgusting, insecure,” etc.
There is an exceeding number of young ladies who are now suffering from eating disorders because they were once labeled “fat.” Or maybe their insecurities stem from their other name – “Stupid.”
Our carnality pulls our flesh toward the negative, especially when we may have an insecurity in a particular area of our life. There are many factors that could influence us to buy into a lie rather than the truth. Adolf Hitler is even remembered for saying, “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” These lying labels are Satan’s attempt to hinder us from being productive for Christ.
Satan does everything in his power to make us feel worthless as a Christian. He will use our flesh to make us stumble and fall. He makes some believe that God has put them on a shelf. He preys on the deadly power of the tongue. He will enlist people as his fiery darts, including family members, lost people, co-workers, neighbors and, sad to say, even fellow church members.
But Satan also has several labels:
- He’s a DECEIVER. Revelation 12:9
- He’s WICKED. 1 John 3:12
- He’s LIMITED. Revelation 12:12
- He’s DOOMED. Matthew 8:29
- He’s a LOSER! Philippians 2:10-11
Luke 4:8 – “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”
Teenager, the only One who has the power to truly “name us” is the Lord, and Ye says you’re precious! There is no such thing as a baby, child, teenager, or adult that has ever been an accident. My mother was conceived through a rape, but my mother was certainly no accident! Your conception may have been a surprise to your parents, but your Heavenly Father knew all about you before you were even formed in your mother’s womb. Psalm 139:14 says “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”
If you have been saved according to the Bible:
- God labels you as “CHOSEN.” Colossians 3:12
- God labels you as “SEALED.” Ephesians 4:30
- God labels you as “JOINT HEIR” with Christ. Romans 8:17
- God labels you “JUSTIFIED.” Romans 5:1
- God labels you “SANCTIFIED.” Hebrews 2:11
- God labels you as “RESCUED.” Colossians 1:13
- God labels you “RECONCILED.” Romans 5:11
- God labels you “SEATED WITH CHRIST.” Ephesians 2:6
- God labels you as “ROYALTY.” John 1:12
- God labels you as “PURPOSEFUL.” Romans 8:28
- God labels you as his “AMBASSADOR.” 2 Corinthians 5:20 We represent Him as those around us observe us, the same as people intently watched Princess Diana.
However, according to Matthew 18:11, you are labeled “LOST” if you are not saved. Jesus is your only solution. Luke 19:10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” You don’t have to die lost and spend eternity in Hell. You have a choice! You can easily exchange your “lost” label for one that could now read “saved” simply by understanding that you’re a sinner, that you deserve death and hell because of your sin, that Jesus died on the cross to pay your penalty so you wouldn’t have to, that Jesus was buried for three days and rose again, and by believing in your heart and confessing with your mouth that you believe it because God’s Word is true.
So what do we do the next time we entertain the notion of feeling unimportant, ugly, unwanted or even unloved? What do we do when we struggle to remove the sticky remnants that have left behind some residue? Remind yourself of the label God has given Satan – Liar!
John 8:44 “He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”