Labels Lie

I think we all fight a label at some point in our lives, and unfortunately, “Christian” might be the label that I’ve struggled with the most. In high school, it wasn’t just “Christian” it was that I was a “God Girl” or that I had “God Friends” or that I was a “Jesus Freak.” Negative connotations, and embarrassing labels, completely hijacking the freedom that I had found in falling in love with my Creator. I was raised in a ‘Christian’ home, but truly gave my life to Christ when I was a sophomore in high school. I embraced the label “Christian” because at the time, that is what we were supposed to be called. A time when your peers opinions mattered the most, and I was sucked into a church culture that embraced the rejection that a teen suffers as a result of their commitment to Christ. We should be proud to be Christians…PROUD. Not really a bad thing to preach that you will be persecuted, but why did we have to be considered separate? Why proud? I believed the lie that not everyone was equal, that I was somehow better, that I somehow had all of the answers because of my spiritual experience, and regretfully spent most of my time living a part. I lost friendships, and hurt people that I cared about, all because I believed the manipulated and twisted version of what the label “Christian” meant.

Now, this label brings up a multitude of anger in me. Because over the years the label “Christian” is now associated with “Christianity” and American Christianity, at least to me, is not something I want to be a part of. Christians judge. Christians hurt. Christians are exclusive. A label, one that I used to embrace, I now reject. Christians have hurt other Christians, and instead of creating a culture of people , worthy of being named after Christ, they have demolished all of the good that should be found in it. A label. A label that should represent something different. I have been called names, I think everyone has, and labeling people, and quickly judging them, that is the opposite of grace, the opposite of love. But just as I disregard this label, I also allow myself to come up with conclusions about someone who puts this label on themselves. The cycle of hurt continues, all because of a word.

This campaign has made me think twice. No label is harmless, even the labels that we embrace willingly. We say things, and we don’t consider what they may mean. I think labels say a lot about our immaturity as a body of people. It is common for a 16 year old to call her best friend a ‘dirty slut’ when she is angry, but why are we still throwing out these labels as adults? Where do teenage girls learn it from? Us. This culture. We the people. We label, and we need to stop. Mistakes are what makes us human, and to take a mistake and label it on someone, that is not love. You were once a drug addict, but that does not mean that I should continue to label you as one. Cultural labels, religious labels, labels associated with what we do for a living, labels that derive from the neighborhood that we live in, so many labels, and none of them truly define who we are. I do not have a say in where your life takes you, and I have no right to limit your story to whatever the label defines.

Labels Lie. Don’t Accept Them. Don’t Use Them.

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Comments

  1. I was sharing with Elora this morning about how when I was in high school I got really tired of being the “good little christian girl”. So i did want good little christian girls don’t do. i drank, messed around with my boy friend, would sneak out of town.

    I was telling her that even this label lies. It sets a standard no one can reach.

    • Yes! Yes! Yes! Exactly! I battled the same set of expectations and even now get the “shock” reactions when I say a cuss word. It’s a constant war against who people think we are/should be.

    • You know what else…people tried to test the label too. Not only was it hard to meet the expectation, but people wanted you to fail. I was taunted…will Katie take a sip of alcohol? Will she go to that party? It became a huge game to see if I would fail.

  2. mattjschell says:

    Would you care if I reblog this?

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