What is your label?

“I don’t think that is your name!”

“It certainly doesn’t suit you!”

I was at a conference this week along with hundreds of other people but I had the privilege of sitting up the front in a seat that had been set aside for me – as I sat down the sticker on the chair must not have been attached properly because it stuck itself to the centre of my back and so, for about an hour, I walked around with the word “Reserved” stuck prominently for all to see.

During the hour that I walked around with this label on me, it is possible that no-one else saw it, it is far more probable that several people chuckled to themselves and it is even possible that a couple of people may have been confused by it – but one thing is for sure (from my perspective) it was a label that didn’t suit me at all.

I have been described in many different ways – some are flattering and others not so. Some people like my personality but I know that there are some who view me differently. There are many adjectives that I would use to describe myself but ‘reserved’ is not one I would claim.

I would accept ‘enthusiastic’, ‘excitable’, ‘thoughtful’ and even ‘careful’. ‘Driven’, ‘passionate’, ‘impetuous’ and ‘spontaneous’ would even be acceptable. However, the title ‘reserved’ doesn’t do it for me – it suggests ‘holding back’, ‘timidity’ and a ‘lack of action’ and this is not who I am comfortable to be.

The person who took the label off my back was a friend who saw the funny side of that name being upon me but often we have ‘labels’ put upon us which we do not deserve or which are inaccurate.

People place labels on us because of our ethnicity, our belief structure and our place in society. Labels limit us to a narrow life and lead to nothing but misunderstanding. Labels cut us off from one another and segregate us.

So you probably have many ‘labels’ just like I do – some you are happy with, others you would like to remove but I have found that there is only really one label that matters at all. The Bible says that we have the opportunity to have the ultimate label – it is one which changes our future and defines our actions and responses. It is a label worth wearing and worth living up to!

“They shall see Jesus’ face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.”            Revelation 22:4

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