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The #1 way to identify yourself

In first grade a certain young lady was called ‘fat’ by another classmate and that word has stuck.

Now, several years later, as we are shopping for jeans, she vents her frustration at how hard it is to find something that fits, “this makes me feel fat! Just like what that boy said!”

​It’s 5 years later and those words still sting. Instead of looking at the situation as perhaps, those certain jeans weren’t made for her body, she instead continues to listen to that boy’s voice berating her from the past.

​I’m guessing there are many of you out there with a similar story. Maybe it’s wasn’t about the size of your body, but maybe a facial feature, or a personality trait.

How often do we let other people’s opinions label us?

Who told us that in order to be happy with who we are, we had to fit into someone else’s label of us? 

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

We are each uniquely and wonderful created in the image of our Creator. We are his workmanship.

Maybe you are familiar with the Max Lucado children’s book, You are Special. In the book, the characters go around putting certain stickers on each other, labeling each other how they feel they should be labeled. For some, with the good labels, it’s not a big deal. But, for others, who seem to have the flaws, they just keep attracting the bad stickers. For one particular character, this is the case. Until one day, he notices someone who the stickers do not stick to. They just fall off. He questions her and she brings him to meet the Master Craftsman. When the characters spend time with the Master Craftsman, the stickers and labels fall off and no longer stick.

​When I would read this book to my kids, I couldn’t get through it without getting choked up. Though it was written for children, the message still spoke to my heart as well.

​Sometimes it’s not others who label us. Sometimes it’s ourselves. We tell ourselves that we are failures, untalented, not needed, or worthless. We walk around with this label and filter every interaction with have through it. We end up looking for the times that our actions reinforce these labels, instead of counter-acting them.

That’s why we need to spend time with the Master Craftsman. As Ephesians 2:10 tells us, we were created in Christ Jesus for good works. He has plans to use us for good and to further His Kingdom. God prepared a way for us so that we could walk the path, shining His light, giving Him glory, and pointing others to Him. We can’t do that when we are wrapped up in the labels that others, or ourselves, have stuck on us.

When we can stop identifying ourselves after worldly labels and start identifying ourselves after our Father, we can begin to silence those voices that try to label us otherwise. 

If this is a struggle in your life right now, take time this week to intentionally address it. Write down the labels that you have given yourself, or allowed someone else to give you. In your quiet time, take this list to God and ask Him to help heal the hurt and to help you see your identity through His eyes. Spend time looking back over your daily life and think about the voices that are speaking into it. Be aware of where you are getting your identity and whose opinions you let into your life.

Then go spend time with the Master Craftsman and let Him be the One to establish your worth and identity. Because, with Him, you are already loved, wanted, and needed.

 The world has so many lies that can counteract the truth that we already know. That’s why we need daily reminders for things that we already know are true. Click below to download a free printable of Ephesians 2:10. Hang this is a spot that will allow you to see it every day; reminding you that you are His workmanship. You are identified by Him, not by the world.
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