By Deborah Coty

I often get frustrated when my daughter is trying to teach me some new technological gizmo that I can’t seem to grasp. I find myself pulling out the dumb label I keep tucked inside my shirt (I know it’s there but others don’t) and posting it clearly across my chest in neon letters. Wearing this label, I feel justified that I can’t learn anything new; it’s just who I am; “the way God made me.”

But Cricket doesn’t buy it. “Mom,” she says in a hard, unsympathetic tone, “quit playing dumb; it won’t work. I know you’re not stupid. You’re a college graduate and an award-winning author. You can get this. Now stop hiding behind the ‘Old Dog” mask.”

I believe we all have poisonous labels that pop out from time to time to sneak a corrupting thought into our heads about our capabilities. We tend to wallow in these destructive labels and believe what they tell us about ourselves.

What secret labels do you have tucked inside your shirt? Do you hide them so well that nobody knows they’re there but you? I’ve got news for you: Someone else knows and He ain’t buying it either.

Labels can build us up or tear us down. Some folks wear a professional label proudly, or maybe successful, efficient, intelligent or competent.

We rely on labels to clarify our identity, don’t we? If we’re not sure who we really are – or maybe we don’t like who we really are – we can hide behind a label that reflects who we wish we were. Something classy, perhaps, to give us a feeling of importance.

But you know what? God doesn’t believe in labels. He doesn’t even notice the stickers we’ve plastered all over ourselves. When we invite Jesus into our hearts and ask Him to fill us with His love, all God sees when He looks at us is the reflection of His son. The old labels are obsolete. We have a new identity, a pure, healthy, holy, confident identity as we proudly wear the label of the Master Designer.

“Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new” (2 Corinthians 5:17, CEV).


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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.