Hurtful Labels
July 24, 2018

Hurtful Labels

How often have we used labels in describing someone? We use names like ‘stupid’ or ‘dumb’ to describe their cognitive ability, or ‘pencil pusher’ and ‘shyster’ to describe their profession. Each is meant to degrade and denigrate.

Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s mother, was once defined by her childless condition.

“Her who was called barren.” (Luke 1:36)

Although she was called barren everywhere she went, God saw her differently. God saw her as a mighty woman of faith and soon-to-be mother of one of His most important and mighty prophets. 


God never calls us by our problems or conditions. He has new and better names for us. We need not believe in the world’s definition of who we are. Instead we should believe in God’s definition and live our lives based upon His word.

God had to stop such labeling in the first church. God brought Peter off alone to teach him and the church a valuable lesson. In a vision Peter was shown a sheet with animals that were not to be eaten according to the Law of Moses. God told Peter to eat, but Peter refused saying he had never eaten anything unclean.

The Lord said, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” (Acts 10:15)

This was instrumental in Peter’s mind when some gentiles invited him to the house of Cornelius the Roman Centurion. Peter told Cornelius: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean.” (Acts 10:28)

Labels are designed to denigrate and separate. We use such labels when we refer to those who are not Christians. We say they are heathens or pagans; much the same way Jews labels Gentiles dogs, impure, or unclean.

Instead, we need to see each person as created them, that is, in the image of God and whom Jesus Christ died for.

How often have we used labels in describing someone? We use names like ‘stupid’ or ‘dumb’ to describe their cognitive ability, or ‘pencil pusher’ and ‘shyster’ to describe their profession. Each is meant to degrade and denigrate.

Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s mother, was once defined by her childless condition.

“Her who was called barren.” (Luke 1:36)

Although she was called barren everywhere she went, God saw her differently. God saw her as a mighty woman of faith and soon-to-be mother of one of His most important and mighty prophets. 


God never calls us by our problems or conditions. He has new and better names for us. We need not believe in the world’s definition of who we are. Instead we should believe in God’s definition and live our lives based upon His word.

God had to stop such labeling in the first church. God brought Peter off alone to teach him and the church a valuable lesson. In a vision Peter was shown a sheet with animals that were not to be eaten according to the Law of Moses. God told Peter to eat, but Peter refused saying he had never eaten anything unclean.

The Lord said, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” (Acts 10:15)

This was instrumental in Peter’s mind when some gentiles invited him to the house of Cornelius the Roman Centurion. Peter told Cornelius: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean.” (Acts 10:28)

Labels are designed to denigrate and separate. We use such labels when we refer to those who are not Christians. We say they are heathens or pagans; much the same way Jews labels Gentiles dogs, impure, or unclean.

Instead, we need to see each person as created them, that is, in the image of God and whom Jesus Christ died for.









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