Friday, March 9, 2012

Labeling People

Source: sixninepixels /
Today I listened to the radio as drove to work and heard a quote by Max Lucado where he said that labels allow us to wash our hands and leave. Labeling people keeps us from seeing the real person beneath the label. At the very 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.

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.


  1. I'm always friendly and nice to people, but I do tend to "label". Some peoples personalities scare me, and while I can be friendly with them, being friends with them is far scarier. It is something that would just take me out of my comfort zone.

    Max Lucado is so wise and inspired. I'm sure that is something I need to work on and change, too.

  2. You've been down and unable to write, yet when you finally do you come up swinging?
    I think I liked it better when you were silent.
    Could you please get off my toes now:)

  3. I know the feeling, Lisa. Struggling with just such a scenario right now.

    Kathy, what can I say? God's had a somewhat captive audience with me. And, I wrote this mostly for myself.

    PS, I've got another Turtle Girl story brewing in my little noggin right now. Hope you like this one as well as the others.