Daily Devotional November 1, 2022

Rerun of Daily Devotional November 1, 2018

Mike sent the following story.  It really made me think.

“I have changed my system for labeling homemade freezer meals. I used to carefully note in large clear letters, “Meatloaf” or “Pot Roast” or “Steak and Vegetables or “Chicken and Dumplings” or “Beef Pot Pie.”

However, I used to get frustrated when I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner because he never asked for any of those things. So, I decided to stock the freezer with what he really likes.

If you look in my freezer now, you’ll see a whole new set of labels. You’ll find dinners with neat little tags that say: “Whatever,” “Anything,” “I Don’t Know,” “I Don’t Care,” “Something Good,” or “Food.” Now no matter what my husband replies with when I ask him what he wants for dinner, I know that it is there waiting.”

Labels can be dangerous things.  Take people as an example.  When we label someone, if we aren’t careful, that’s who they become in our eyes.

According to Psychology Today, research has shown that labels can influence how we see others.  Linguist Benjamin Whorf believed, “the words we use to describe what we see aren’t just idle placeholders–they actually determine what we see.”

In other words, if we label someone black, white, brown, fat, skinny, smart, dumb, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Evangelical, Traditionalist, Progressive, W.A.S.P., beautiful, sexy, ugly, rich, poor, redneck, hillbilly, sissy, Millennial, vegan, feminist, straight, gay, tall, short, we reduce them into a single manageable definition that allows us to put them in a box.

The world thrives on labels and whether you like it or not, the world will label you.  But always remember what W.C. Fields said, “It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.”

For those who follow Jesus Christ, we understand ourselves to be children of God.  That is our primary identity and that is the only label that really matters.

This is why Paul said, “ You are all God’s children through faith in Christ Jesus.   All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.   There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.   Now if you belong to Christ, then indeed you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise. ” (Galatians 3:26-29)

So, as you go through the day interacting with others and meeting the challenges that are before you, remember who you are.  Before any label the world tries to attach to you, you already know who you are.  You are God’s child.

Prayer:  Dear Gracious Heavenly God, in a world filled with distractions and labels, help me to always remember that I am your child.  Help me live like it.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

You already have the only label that matters so don’t worry what others think.  They are usually wrong.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins