Slut. Freak. Popular. Successful. Who Labels You?

I’m a doctor.
I’m a lawyer.
He’s a rock star.
That guy is a professor.
She’s a Christian.
That guy is an atheist.
This man is a millionaire.
That girl is a model.

We love to label our identities (or others) when it comes to our accomplishments or areas of our lives that we’re proud of. Even in stores and online reviews we label things. This product is a piece of crap. This one changed my life! This one set my house on fire.

Throughout our lives we label everything around us with quick judgment calls based on the scenario we see playing out. We’d love to say we only label our friends and the people around us based on what really matters, but is that the truth?

He’s a drug addict. That guy’s an alcoholic. She’s a slut. They’re poor. That guy is the dumbest person I’ve ever met.

I’ve found that in my own life that I’m a lot quicker to believe the negative labels other people have put on me than the positive ones. Often times I can even let the past dictate my present identity. For those of us who’ve been molested (myself included at a young age), we can quickly claim that as our identity. Even though the event happened long ago, we can easily think it’s who we are currently. We see ourselves as “dirty” or “unworthy of love.”

When you view the world through those lenses you tend to see a distorted reality that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You react to love differently. You might struggle with self-worth or are incapable of having a stable relationship with someone. Others of us may begin sharing our body with multiple people in order to gain “love” or “feel” worthy enough to be loved.

The same is true, however, if we only label ourselves by our accomplishments. Take my thought process for instance: I run HeartSupport. Gotta do HeartSupport. Praying for HeartSupport. Talking to people on HeartSupport. Writing for HeartSupport.

And when I clock out of working for HeartSupport and people ask me, “How’s life?” my immediate response is typically something about HeartSupport.

If I find my identity in the work I do at Heart Support, then that will be what consumes and labels me. If I find my identify as a victim of sexual molestation, then that is what is going to consume and label me.

We need to understand the power of the labels we put on others and the weight it can bear on their life. If we identify them by their accomplishments or pain it can easily influence the way they see themselves. People soak up what we spit out. Our words have power in other people’s lives, so be careful how you talk about others or what you say to those around you. None of us have the right to be a label maker.

The question is then, “Who are you allowing to label YOU?”

Showing 4 comments
  • Christina
    Reply

    Thank you for that. You always find the right words. Most people dont know what power their words and thoughts have. But also the positive labels have power. We should try to find the positive points in everything we do and everyone we meet. Labeling things with positive thoughts and words will enrich our life!

  • Anthony Savalla
    Reply

    Labels and identity…. Too many times we find ourselves labeling ourselves and others by what we identify them with. How many times have seen or been in this scenario, an introduction where two people state who they are and what they do for a living…only here’s the twist. Our true identity should be found in God, Christ and their legacy. As we are made in God’s imagine and taught by Christ to replicate his love and life, we are identified as his children (point#1). A parents job is to love and teach their children. So, we establish relationship between child and parent (point#2). Now we are able to establish identity. Living by this day to day may prove to be difficult at times, but by cultivating the relationship with God and Christ this becomes easier over time. So hi! My name is Anthony and I’m a disciple of Christ.

  • guy223
    Reply

    I dont care how people label me. I dont even care that you are a world famous musician. You are just a person to me.
    What i care about is that-how are things in your faith life ? What people are in your life ? What is your mission in this earth ?

    I dont seek labels, my identity is in Jesus. I dont have a constant need to prove myself to the world.
    I do my things what i am passionate about, pray, help others and slowly be more succesful.

  • Victor Dunkle
    Reply

    Yea and sadly this has been going on for centuries. We need to look at ourselves as a collective whole rather than singleing each other out.

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