I despise labeling people with their past mistakes, mishaps, failures, depravity, sin and plain humanity. I dread my labels as well, especially the unfair labels that I know in-depth holds some truths about me. But to face the reality, we all hold titles that we hate, and we give unfair labels to the ones we hate, don’t we!
But reading through John’s gospel I see people labeled, so utterly mercilessly labeled as follow,
“The Samaritan woman with five husbands”
“The woman caught in the act of adultery”
“The born blind man” ……
I wonder why not calling them, “The woman who had great questions at the well.”
“The woman who God graciously forgave”
“The man who spoke boldly in Sanhedrin” ….
I wondered, why? Why would the beloved disciple of Christ label these poor souls to be identified with their horrible mistakes for years to come? Even after their repentance and healings, they were still addressed as such. More sadly, even after thousands of years we still identify them as these.
It is then, I understood, only when we bring to light the depravity, deliberate sin, depressing handicapness of this body, we can clearly show the perfection, grace, and the healing power of our Savior to the world. In that light, this verse makes all the more sense “In your weakness, my strength will be made perfect.” Oh, how I continue to dread the merciless titles yet gloriously see the beauty in it now. And with Paul, I declare, “I will boast all the more in my infirmities.”
My friend, you! who cringe deep in your viscera every time you are labeled as one of these,
“The girl who got pregnant before marriage”
“That parent with a disabled child”
“That woman who got divorced twice”
“That tall one or the short one or the fat one”
“That girl who is always anxious”
“That woman who is loud”
“That girl who talks too much”
“That one with a crossed eye.”
“That man who is bald” …………………. Let it be any title that you dread today. May I encourage you, please take a step back with me and see, how in it ALL, His glory shines.
I am not justifying labeling someone, on the contrary, I still hold tight to the idea that it is so much unchristian like to do that. I am only saying “everything works for good to those who love Him, even our labels.”
I am only pleading you to See,
how in your worst diagnosis your faith twinkles.
In your worst failure His strength brightness.
In your horrible mistake, His grace is beautified.
How in everything you are, yes, including that unfair label, His gospel spreads………. who knows maybe even for thousands of years from now?