Why do we judge people by how they look? Why do we label people and then assume we “know” them because we are able to put a certain label on them?
Labels are often attached to people without much thought. Our brain seeks to categorize, to understand, to have a framework for viewing the world and so it attaches a label to someone or some situation. I think the challenge comes in when we accept those unconscious labels without stopping to think about them.
We also apply labels to ourselves. We tell ourselves things like, “I am so stupid/ugly/worthless/________.” You can fill in the blank with just about label. Maybe we heard these labels from others so often that we began to believe they were true. Maybe it only took one person to say that label to us and then we quickly adopted it as truth.
Ephesians 2:10~ “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
In “Unglued,” Lysa Terkeurst writes, “God is chiseling us, making us new, releasing us from our hard places—those places that make us feel so stinkin’ defeated, so we can do good works.”
We are each a work in progress, a masterpiece in the making. God sees us as we will become, not just as we are. Lysa goes on to write, “I can almost hear the Master’s chisel clink and chip and smooth.” The chiseling of the Master is not always pleasant. Sometimes it just plain hurts. But that chiseling is for our good. It chips away at the sin that plagues our lives. It roots out the bad habits, the nasty attitudes and the lies that we tell ourselves. If you’ve never see the video called “God’s Chisel” by the Skit Guys, then you should stop now and watch it. God sees a masterpiece in each one of us and He’ll keep chiseling away until we are complete in Him.
Philippians 1:6 – “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Knowing that I am God’s masterpiece….knowing that others are also His masterpiece…..why do I judge people by how they look? Why am I so quick to apply a label to myself or to others? Why do I look at you (or myself) and think, “oh you’re _____, so that means _____”? No matter what label I may fill in the blank with, it does not define who we are. It’s simply a frame of reference. But it should not determine how I treat you. It should not make me assume I know you.
A label might be a starting point, but hopefully it does not keep me from digging deeper to really get to know you and seeking to understand what you are about.
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