We are all labeled by the world. Some of our labels are good and some are bad, but we desire to have the right labels. We search and pursue the right labels. Whether it is being popular (rather than a loser) or rich (over poor) or smart (as opposed to dumb) – our efforts are tied up in the pursuit. And when we have earned a label, no matter what it is (from good dad, to creative, to…) our self-worth depends on the label! * In this the labels come to dominate us, and we become slaves to the labels. **
I got word from Jeremy that Kadeeja has successfully come through surgery. The doctor reported that she probably would not have survived the year without this surgery… AMAZING, huh? Look at the smiling face and consider that our small effort helped save her life. Just as amazing, when she arrived home there was a big celebration at her house. The whole extended family gathered for the party. Jeremy and his wife were also invited, as Christians into a Muslim reunion. But in the love of Christ the labels no longer mattered. Instead men sat in one room listening to Jeremy explain the love of Jesus, while in the next room his wife shared with the ladies! (Click on Kadeeja’s picture if you would like to learn more about Jeremy’s ministry!).
In the presence of God all the labels fall away. He does not define our worth based on our physical appearance or our athletic abilities. Instead he makes us beautiful from the inside out. He make us talented from the inside out. As the passage declares when we become slaves to righteousness we are being made holy. When God sees us He does not envision labels, but his beautiful and talented child. Why? Because we have be made holy! This is our worth and nothing is more valuable!
*There is a group that is anti-label. They may be called alternative or even gothic… of course these are labels! And just watch their reaction if you call them a conformist! HA!
**What is sin? ~ The passage states that we are slaves to sin, but here I am writing that we are slaves to labels. Of course sin involves actions, but at the root it is worship. When we worship, follow, the wrong god then we are in sin. Our pursuit of labels, the fact that our self-worth is wrapped up in them, make the labels our god. So for your self-worth to be wrapped up in beauty or popularity or wealth, is sin. Not that your actions are necessarily “evil” in the traditional sense, like murder. It is sin because pursuing something other than God!