In high school, I never drank, smoked, cussed or ran around with boys. You see, I believed what my parents taught me about living a pure life, one devoted to Christ. I married a Christian. We started our family and attended Bible school. I thought our family would continue on in the manner in which I was raised, a God centered family life.
Some Christians are just as guilty as anyone at pinning labels on others. They think that if they've never gotten a divorce, if they've never gotten pregnant before they were married, if they've not had to start life over, they are a success and that those other people are beneath them. Somehow, I think attaching labels to others, allows people to not to have to face their own shortcomings. They don't even realize in the process they are giving themselves labels like "BETTER THAN" and "RIGHTEOUS".
Now, I am a grace person. I am even part of a group called People of the Second Chance (POTSC). This is a group that believes in extending radical grace to those who have been labeled and feel like there is no grace for them. We love on and show mercy and grace to hurting people who feel like they can never be accepted by God, the Church or just people in general. So, you see, I am a grace person.
I try to place value and preciousness on everyone I come across; to see them as my Heavenly Father sees them. It wasn't until recently, that I realized I haven't extended that same grace to myself. While I have given my heart over to my Father, there is a part of it I have kept from Him; the part that is labelled "FAILURE". That part, I have kept from Him, in the dark, in secret. And when I try to go to that place in my heart, I can still hear the words that were spoken to me so many years ago as if it was just yesterday. It's as if I get the tattoo redone every time I visit that place. The colors become more vivid instead of fading with time. Labels lie to us and tell us that we are something we are not. And as we believe the lie, it slowly changes us into a person who we were not meant to be. Labels steal, kill and destroy.
This son that I had, 16 years ago, was no surprise to God! God knew I would have this child from the beginning of time, just as He knew I would have my other children. He has a plan for Him like He has a plan for each of my other children. He is an amazing child with the most tender heart and a capacity to love and be kind, like no one else that I know. He is a gift. He is loved by my family. How could having this gift, make me a "FAILURE".
And so, I've decided to uncover the tattoo of that label on my heart. I've laid it bare before the Lord. I'm going to let the blood of Jesus wash over it and take it away. I've heard tattoo removal is painful, so I suspect this won't be easy. I'll have to change my way of thinking about myself. I'll have to extend the same grace that I extend to others, to myself. I'll have to come up with a different label to tattoo there..like maybe GREAT MOTHER, or maybe, DAUGHTER OF THE KING, or maybe, just SINNER, SAVED BY GRACE.
My dear friend, if you have tattooed any labels across your heart, that are interfering with you being the person God created you to be, make the tough decision to remove them. Regardless of what you have done or been, in the past, God wants to make you new and whole and clean. The only label He has for you is "Child of God". It's not easy to get rid of labels, but God makes a way. The Scriptures, in Philippians, says, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." These are the ways that you should be thinking about yourself. If you have sin in your life, know that you are not your sin, repent of it and let Him make you clean and whole again.
From His Lap,