Friday, August 8, 2014
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go"1 (Lyrics)

Isaiah 43:18-19a – Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! (NIV)

We all know about labels and what they are meant to do: They tell us what's in packages, how to use their contents, and any number of details that we may or may not want to know. Often what we do want to know is not there, but that's another story.

We also put labels on people, which may identify someone in terms of what that person is like in our own minds. While we view these labels as helpful at times, they are often based on assumptions that are not accurate or do not even apply now — if they ever did. I am just as guilty as other people of labelling others, but I am often reminded about how wrong I am, and that the label that I have put on someone is totally inaccurate and completely mistaken.

For example, a person may be a senior — but not only are all seniors not the same or have the same issues, but also age often has nothing to do with it. There are a lot of young people who struggle with the same issues as older people, not to mention all the seniors who do not behave like they are old!

People can experience great hurt when they are labelled negatively, and sometimes we label someone based on knowledge about their past (for example, lifestyle, behaviour, or circumstances). It is easy to blame a person's current difficulties (whether it be illness or other challenges) on their past, and yes, this may be true, but God is our great healer and helper, and He can and will heal us, while closing doors on past issues! What may once have been a problem doesn't necessarily apply any longer. God does not want us to dwell on the past, and it would benefit all of us if we would lift each other up by celebrating our present attributes, gifts, and talents, and refrain from boxing one another in with negative labels.

We are renewed when we accept Jesus as our Saviour, and labels in general do not apply. That does not mean that our lives are perfect. We are fallible human beings. However, when we turn to God, all things are possible, including healing (if that is His will), and no one has anything to prove to anyone else if we keep our focus on our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:16 – Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (NIV)

Isaiah 40:31 – But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (NIV)

There is one label that I think we all want to be stuck with, and that is that we are chosen children of God, that He loves us, that He forgives us, and that He will never ever forsake us. Through God's grace and mercy, because we love and trust Him with all our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, the past no longer matters; it's how we live our lives now.

Prayer: Dear Lord, may we all accept one another as Your chosen children, each of whom is unique and special in Your eyes. Grant us the listening ears, the open minds, and the loving hearts that will help us to serve You and Your people (without labels) according to each one's needs and Your will. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen!

Forward this devotional     Share this devotional on Facebook     Like PresbyCan on Facebook

About the author:

Jan Korvemaker
Parksville, British Columbia, Canada

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A good one Jan. Thank you.

    Beautifully put. Thank you.

    So true Jan. Thanks for the good thought.

    Very inspirational devotional. Thank you for sharing this with others.

    What a wonderful reminder to accept each other just as we are – the same that God accepts us – unconditionally. Thanks for writing today.

    Hello Jan,
    What an inspiring devotional Jan. You do have a gift in writing, and sharing such wise thoughts.

    Dear Jan
    Thank you for writing that beautiful devotional! You compose thoughts with such feeling and it is a treat to see that you are still writing. I’ll look forward to seeing more.

    AMEN, to the one true label, WE ARE ALL CHILDREN OF GOD!
    Blessings and thanks for sharing your gift of writing with all of us.

    Hello Jan; Very well put statement of Faith, how God can be our way in life and stead fast helper.
    You’re a example of His love for you and how he has made your life now in Him.
    Thanks for the devotional today.

    I never read the writers name until I reach the bottom of the page. How pleased that it was your name I found because you have hit the nail on the head. All I need to say is one wrong word (completely out of context) and the self deprecation comes out. My life is not hard by any way but it is hard when you are looking at the person you love and, seeing the turmoil, know that you only can do so much to help.
    I hope you keep on with your writing as you have a good insight into living with difficulties that only you know, and others can never imagine.

    Yes, Jan, labels do hurt. I know because I have been labelled due to a past occurrence in my life.
    I have found that it has been essential to hold on to God’s love towards the folk responsible. To do otherwise, would be less than edifying and I would, then, not be behaving as God would have me behave: despite feeling anything BUT gracious about their criticism and judgement.
    This was a ‘been there, experienced that’ read in my case. I have made mistakes in the past (and still do) and I am a senior so I could relate on all levels.
    I still pray for their ‘eyes’ to be opened and for them to forgive and forget.

    Wonderfully said! Thank you.

Previous Post
Next Post

PresbyCan is a community of faithful, Holy Spirit-filled, Christ-centred, God-honouring Christians.