Life can be like wearing a bunch of labels that we either place on ourselves or other people place on us. Particularly in western culture we are obsessed with finding out who we are and how we tick to help us navigate life. Once we have discovered the answer to the question we stick a label on so we can be identifiable.
However the label can make us rigid in our thinking and the difficulty with living through the label is that we shut down on the opportunity to hear what God has to say about us, we have already made that decision through another process. The fallout of that can be when God comes to us with a fresh experience or opportunity to broaden our horizon, we can’t make it fit with the label we are already wearing and we end up saying – NO, and miss out.
Labels are also created by our own choice, for example if we have been hurt at some point in time. We can use them at our convenience to avoid pain or rejection. Then we walk the path of self – preservation with a disability of not being able to trust self, others or God. As those labels come from an unhealthy decision base therefore they will not be healthy for us in the long run.
Jesus said in the book of John 10:10 “I have come that you may have life in abundance” He explains “their is another one who is trying to destroy your life” (make it difficult). Jesus offers us something unique, a chance for change and yet in John 5:40 Jesus points out that “even though abundant life is on offer we refuse to go to Him”. The label again dominates our life with phrases like, this is my background, the genes are in my family history, I was born this way so this is how it is, someone told me I am like this, I am this type of personality, and so on.
But when we let God come to us He begins to bring health and wholeness into our lives. The labels we once wore are no longer appropriate to wear as a badge of identity as our identity is shaped by what God says about us John 10 directs our thinking to the fact that “Jesus is the shepherd our lives”. If we draw near to Him the process of dropping the labels begins.