From the time we enter school for pretty much the rest of our lives we are given labels by our family, friends, society and popular culture. Whether the intention of the label is innocent or not you may not know but I do know that labels can have a positive or negative effect on our behavior, future or self-esteem if we allow them to.
I was listening to this message on “labels” earlier this week and it immediately caught my attention. I tuned in totally intrigued on how labels can and will affect us, especially if decide to allow those labels to define us.
Many of us have unknowingly fallen victim to the negative effect of labels.
When we get into school, we may be labeled as pretty, popular, smart, funny or ugly, fat, dumb and incapable of success. In our families, we may be labeled as “the disruptive middle child”, “the weird one”, “the go-getter” or “the lazy one.” Society may label us as a black woman, white woman, Latina woman, single mother, fatherless child, college graduate, student, career woman or a single woman.
Every label comes with its own definition, weight, expectation and connotation. If a child has been told that she is stupid and will never make it to college then she may begin to act as if she will never be successful. If you have been told that you are ugly and no one will ever love you then you will begin to behave in a manner which exudes that.
Seeing ourselves through the lens of negative labels can potentially upset our self-image.
If you have been labeled, whether it is from childhood, adolescence or adulthood understand that no one has the right to label you. You put a label on something if you own it or you’ve purchased it, like when you put your label on a dress you’ve designed or you put your child’s name on the inside of her backpack. You bought it; therefore, it is your right to put your name on it.
Which makes me think that if the only being that has the right to put a label on something is the one who owned, purchased it or designed it then who has the right to put a label on us?
The one who owns and designed us of course!
I believe I was created and designed by God and that means that if God designed me and purchased me (with His blood through Jesus Christ), then He is the ONLY being who has the right to label me. To take this point even further, God does not label me as anything less than His child, an heir in His Kingdom, more than a conqueror, powerful, beautifully and wonderfully made, redeemed, loved unconditionally, called and chosen according to His purpose.
We cannot allow others to label us because they have absolutely no right to. I don’t care what your teacher, mother, father, sister, brother, neighbor, cousin, friend, or person on the street has labeled you as – you are not defined by their labels of you. If you have allowed a negative label to influence your confidence, your self-image or your potential then I am encouraging you to give those labels right back to them.
If God Almighty sees you as beautiful, more than enough, a conqueror, strong and courageous then why can’t you?
As a man thinks in his heart, then so is he. (Proverbs 23:7)
If you believe that you are those negative labels then you will begin to attract those negative things. There is a reason why successful people attract other successful people. It’s because like attracts like which is the law of attraction working in their favor.
Change the way that you think about yourself, take off the labels that have been put on you and transform your mind to accept no one else’s but God’s label of you!
Only God has the right to label you – receive that.
Maria I. Melendez