Labels

I hate to be labeled…

I don’t tell people I like to watch super hero and science fiction because I don’t want to be labeled a geek.

I don’t like driving a mini-van because I don’t want to be labeled a soccer mom.

I don’t tell people I love pink and princesses and girly-girl things because I don’t want to be labeled a priss.

I don’t tell people I love sports because I don’t want to be labeled a tom boy.

I don’t tell people I love show tunes because I don’t want to be labeled a drama queen.

I don’t tell people I am for or against certain things politically because I don’t want to be labeled a radical or a liberal.

I don’t tell people I have real issues with certain behaviors or tv shows or movies because I don’t want to be labeled a legalist.

Instead, I often sit in silence, and when someone tells me they hate red, I just smile and keep to myself that red is my favorite color. Or when someone tells me all the things I “should do” with my house or my family or my health, I just smile and keep to myself that I already have plans for my house or my family or my health care.

I fear too much of what people may think… which is kind of crazy, considering I have a blog, and I share what I think (to a degree).

I’m tired. Being a people pleaser is tiring. I’m tired of hiding who I am because I fear what others may think. I am tired of finding little enjoyment in who I am because I get overwhelmed by strong personalities.

It’s idolatry. This people pleasing. This happiness rising and falling with the approval of others. I ask myself: Why? Why do I do this? Why do I care so much what others’ think? Why do I have this need for others’ approval when the approval belongs to one person:

Jesus Christ.

And so I am finding great liberty in being me. The me that He created me to be. And all I need to know is that I’m valued by Him. I only ask “Does Christ approve?” I know he approves of me as His child, but does He approve of what I’m saying and doing?

That is the label I want.

I want to be labeled a Christian. I want to be labeled as someone Who seeks Him first in all things. I want to be labeled as someone who is compassionate and kind and loving because of Him, not because of me.

Soli Deo Gloria.

To God Alone be Glory.

That is the label I want.

11 responses to “Labels”

  1. Oh, Angie. Thank you for this! I need this today. . . a day when I’m searching for my identity. . who am I really? I’m beginning to label myself of who I’m not (not skinny, not a mom and will I ever be?, not this, not that), who I am (a wife, a nurse, a sister, a friend. . ) and all that’s in between. In my thinking I realize I didn’t give Christ the credit for who I really am (redeemed, forgiven, loved perfectly, treasured, rejoiced over, perfected). Even though I know it, even though I say it, I don’t live who I really am in Christ because I worry too much about the rest. Freedom from this world is hard sometimes. Love you.

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  2. I can so relate. The fear of what others will think can be paralyzing – and it truly does not matter as you so eloquently stated.

    Thank-you for this reminder today.

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  3. Sadly, I struggle with this around other Christians more than anyone else. I don’t mind openly stating what I believe to someone who doesn’t share my faith (in a non-judgmental, conversational way), but I am silenced around other Christians. Like I’m going to get kicked out of the club if I don’t fit a certain mold. Or they’re going to think I’m not REALLY a Christian if I differ in this way or that way. It’s really hard to let that go, and really sad that life experience is what has rooted these fears in me. I need to overcome it because no matter what my good reasons are for putting up these walls of fear, I don’t like them. They don’t speak of the freedom I have in Christ. And really, what DOES it matter what people think? I don’t know how it becomes so important…

    This reminds me of the Sara Groves song “This Journey is My Own” love that song.

    Great post, lady!

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  4. I’m going to be totally shallow and not comment on your greater message (which is awesome as always), but to say that when the next superhero movie comes out, you’ve got a date to the theater (if Brian’s not available). šŸ™‚

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  5. what a great post and I agree! I think WAY TOO MUCh about what other people think and not nearly enough about what Jesus thinks of me and how much He loves me.

    Thankfully, so far it appears that my children feel comfortable being themselves regardless…but they haven’t hit those tumultuous teen years yet. *sigh*

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  6. I so appreciated this post. It spoke to something so deep and personal in my own heart.

    I would like a duplicate to the label you are choosing…seeking Him above all things. That is the label I want proudly displayed in my own life as well! Everything about HIM!!

    Thank you for these words today!

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  7. I can relate, but sometimes the rebel in me wins out and I just want to say what I think regardless of whether or not others agree. Why go through life suppressing our thoughts and feelings, I ask myself. I have actually profited from hearing some things about myself that are not so great and am thankful when people are honest enough to say what they think. Labels? I suppose I have many. And that’s not so bad. As always, I enjoy your insight. Praying for you, Angie. šŸ™‚

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  8. Amen! Awesome post! I can totally relate to this! I would rather simply sit with someone over a cup of coffee, have them get to know me and vice versa, instead of operating on preconceptions (labels).

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