This is a followup to the blog I posted called Take Off Man-Made Labels.
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment…rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:3-4 NIV
As we look at labels, we see the power they possess. Labels can hurt, or they can heal. They can help us succeed, or they can aid in our failures. They have the power to shape how we see ourselves. They can change us from the inside out. Labels permeate our souls.
Think back to the moment when certain man-made labels stuck to you. Did they build you up, or did they tear you down? Did they give you hope or leave you feeling hopeless? Did you believe you could do anything, or were you convinced there was no point in trying because you would fail anyway?
When I visited Italy last year, I toured a factory where they hand-made Italian purses and shoes. The seamstress carefully paid attention to every detail as she stitched together a work of art. The Designer had created something out of nothing except an idea, a thought.
With passion He sketched His design, keeping in mind the exact finished product. What would it look like? What color? What would be its use, its purpose?
The Designer was careful to make sure that the seamstress knew what his creation would look like and feel like. His instructions were given to her clearly, so there was no misunderstanding as to its value to him.
Man-made labels are fake representations of the real thing. They may have some of the same characteristics as our Designer’s labels, but they are tainted by the falsities of our humanness. Only the perfect, unconditional love of our Creator has the power to see us as we really are, created in His own image. And what a beautiful image that is.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
At this very moment you can begin to see yourself as the new creation that you really are. Those old sticky labels serve no purpose, good or bad. What’s important is to see yourself through the eyes of the One who made you.
Out with the Old Labels...In with the New
1. Believe You are a New Creation.
Ask the Lord to reveal any lies you are believing. Break free from damaging labels by seeing yourself as Christ sees you. Your past no longer matters. What matters is that His grace covers sin and sets you free.
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20
2. Ask the Lord to Reveal the Source of the Labels You Wear.
-Did someone hurt you? Forgive them.
"Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us." Luke 11:4
-Is the label from Satan, the Accuser? Reject it and replace it with the truth.
“For the accuser of our brothers and sister, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They triumped over him by the blood of the lamb of God and by the word of their testimony." Revelation 12:10b-11a
-Is it from Jesus, your Creator, Savior, and Healer? Cherish it. Hold it close. Memorize it.
"You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32
3. Don’t Label or Compare Yourself to Others.
Comparing only leads to us believing our circumstances are worse than or better than others. It prohibits us from dealing with our own stuff. It hinders work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It leads to us becoming hard and judgmental.
Comparing also causes us to take on a Victim mentality, and nothing good comes from us wallowing in self-pity.
“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
4. Take Action.
As the Lord starts transforming your mind and changing your heart, take action. Walk by faith and not by what those old labels say about you.
Shift your focus off trying to fix your hurting loved ones. Pray for them, but let your time and energy be spent becoming the daughter of the King that you were created to be.
Be thankful. Be kind. Be generous. Help others. Forgive them. Love them. Accept love and forgiveness with gratitude.
Before you know it, God's Designer’s labels will be woven into your soul. You are truly one of a kind, and your value is beyond measure.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
Go back and read the first part of this lesson, How to Take Off Man-made Labels, to help you get a better understanding of the damage that man-made labels can do to us if we accept and believe their lies.