And those labels---they are seldom good---mostly pointing out our short-comings---and bringing shame with them. When we announce a label for another---it seldom is complimentary---and almost always sure to hurt.
Even when the label is not necessarily always negative, it is the tone and attitude it is announced in that marks us with shame. The label liberal or conservative when announced in the right venue is not bad--but when proclaimed in the opposing camp is worse than a dirty name.
Why is it we look for the negative things about our fellow human-beings---why do we examine only the surface---what causes us to be so hyper-critical of others and in-sensitive to their feelings? I taught my children---when others speak cruelly---in an un-kind manner about you---it is because they do not feel good about themselves and want to bring you down to their level or hopefully even lower. This was little balm for the embarrassment and shame suffered over cruel labels.
It starts early in life our need to label. I have seen the shame in the face of a child who is labeled as slow in school. The child labeled as slow/nonathletic on the playground--always chosen last for the team. The child who is labeled ugly, fat, poor---on and on. Where do children learn to be so cruel to one another? We probably don't have to look far to figure out how they learned---the reflection in the mirror is more than likely the culprit. How easy to point out someone as fat when you have never struggled with your weight. How easy to point out someone as ignorant when you were gifted with intelligence and all the right opportunities. How easy to label someone as lazy who is homeless and on the street--when you have no idea their circumstance. We all are guilty of opinions based upon first glances---and first glances only skim the surface.
A truly great person (label) does not debase or lower others--does not make fun or light of others short-comings--does not stick labels on individuals. A truly great person looks beyond the outer shell into the heart---stops and listens to their story and recognizes each and every person for their individuality. A truly great person looks for the best in each of us and marks us with only the positive labels.
SO put your shame behind you---focus on the positives---and recognize who is doing the labeling as biased and small minded. The One who looks at us with un-biased vision labels us
His Daughter (Son)---
The Apple of His Eye---
His Treasured Possession---
Holy & Blameless---
(All Based Upon His Word)
Choose to hang onto these labels--and leave the world's behind--after all---whose judgement do you trust?
O my God, in You I trust, Do not let me be ashamed; Do not let my enemies exult over me.