Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Labeling People

on May 19, 2015

Today I listened to the radio as I drove to work and heard a quote by Max Lucado–that labels allow us to wash our hands and leave. Labeling people keeps us from seeing the real person beneath the label. At the next opportunity, I put the quote (as best as I could remember it since I had to wait until I was no longer driving) into my phone for future reference. But you know how God is–future reference was apparently closer than I expected.

The reality of Max’s words sunk in and began to work. How many times have I labeled someone as obnoxious and detoured around them? Or said, “They’re emotionally needy and I just don’t have the energy for that.” It happens and, as I thought about it, I realized it happens more than I’d like to admit.

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Placing a label allows us to not see the person behind the words we use to categorize them. When we label someone, we can overlook the real person. We can make excuses and justifications. When we label someone, we do that person a disservice. More importantly, we block the path for God to use us to minister to that person.

I’m thankful that God doesn’t label me the way I’ve labeled others. He might label me pretentious, unloving, stuck-up. Yes, I’m thankful He doesn’t do unto me as I do unto others. I’m also thankful that He keeps at me until I finally figure out what He’s trying to tell me and then He helps me to change.

 

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3 responses to “Labeling People

  1. Carole Brown says:

    Well said, Tammie! Loved this post.

  2. Thank you, Carole!

  3. nosyjosie says:

    This actually mad me reexamine my tendency to label a colleague of mine. She is a bit “different” in wonderful ways but these ways are usually shunned by others in the workplace. Instead of embracing her unique individuality…people usually try to waive a red flag when she is coming. I’ve been guilty of that as well. She is an awesome woman, now that I have gotten to know her and I wish that I could show everyone. Removing the label allowed me to make a new friend.

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