I grew up in the era of Jordache jeans and Adidas sneaks. Think Gap and Nike. I owned neither because they were too expensive. I would’ve given anything to have even one pair, but the closest I came to them were seeing them on kids at school 🤷♀️.
Labels are important to a young girl you know? I mean, labels are how people define you. They look at your ethnicity, the brands you wear, the zip code you live in, the jobs, your parents have and they put labels on you.
Poor, less than, inferior, not good enough, wannabe, chink, yellow, are some of the labels I’ve worn over the years.
Some of these labels were true but most were not. Yes, I was poor compared to some of my classmates. Yes, at times I was a wannabe because I wanted badly to belong instead of always being excluded.
But, I was not worth less than other kids just because I was poor even if they believed it to be true. I was good enough to be a part of their groups if they’d given me a chance. I felt inferior because I was mocked and viewed differently due to my ethnicity, but this doesn’t mean I was inferior.
I didn’t ask for these labels. I just wanted to belong, to fit in with other young people. But I had so many labels to contend with. These labels that I and others placed on me became how I defined myself. Sadly, it brought shame as I wore them.
But God. Yes, but God is peeling these labels off of me. And He wants to peel off whatever labels people have put on you too my young friends.
He loves you and me too much to let us go on wearing untrue labels which causes us to strive, to prove, to hide who He made us to be and do.
Young ones, God is giving us new labels to wear. Labels that are true and right. Labels that will stick because He made us and what He says about us is absolutely true all the time!
God labels you and God labels me worthy, valued, treasured, accepted, desired, and loved, for we are made in His image. God says in Psalm 34:5, those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. My young friends, you are made in the image of God and that is your permanent label! God stamped it on you and no other label can replace it. There is no shame in being related to the magnificent God of the universe!
God made you the color He wanted. He put you in your ethnic group on purpose and for a purpose to let people see who He is through your looks, your personality, your abilities, and your passions.
Here is an important truth. It is good and healthy to appreciate your ethnicity and to identify with your people group. God made each of us unique and He wants us to celebrate our uniqueness. Not celebrating our unique design is to deny God’s creativity in crafting each of us differently to represent His vastness.
However, identifying with our individual ethnic group and appreciating our God-designed ethnicity should never lead us to a place of pride in our ethnicity. Because pride causes us to feel superior over others. Pride leads us to think we are better than others. If we are not careful, these strong feelings of pride (which may feel right) in our people group will eventually lead us to label people who are different than us. And labeling is dangerous because it leads to us treat people how we want to treat them, based on their labels. We neglect to treat people how God wants us to treat them. Yet, He wants us to treat all people with respect, kindness, and love because He created them. Makes sense right?
God is the only one with the authority to put labels on people. And He has the same label for each of His created ones:
Made Worthy in the image of God.
Young hearts, this is the label I’m wearing these days 💜. I want you to wear it too. Because it’s true!!