When my children were just about a year old, they were at the point in their lives where they were learning the names of everything. We would celebrate when I would ask what something was, and they would either make a sound to describe it or try saying the word. For the longest time my son would point at cows and call them moos. It is a true joy to hear your children work at learning the names for everything, mentally labeling each thing, especially when they come up with their own version of the word.
Everyone learns how to label. The Brother P-touch labeler even allows you to type and print out your own labels and place them around your office and house to inform everyone what everything is. For the most part I would say labels are useful because they help us identify. However, when the wrong labels are placed on people or things, those labels actually misrepresent. (Excerpted from My Mess His Masterpiece)
I believe many of us are walking around today wearing labels that misrepresent who we really are. These labels tie us to our past, shaming us, telling us that we will never be any more than what the label indicates.
For some your label says adulterer or divorced. For others your label says addict or alcoholic. For some your label says thief and then for others it says liar or abuser. There are numerous different labels but the point is none of these labels are who Christ says we are in Him. The wrong labels will cause us to carry the wrong identity if we do not know what our true identity is.
Christ came to give us a new identity -our true identity.
When we let our past identify us, we are not living in the reality of who God says we are.
So how do we change? How do we stop letting the enemy mislabel us?
- You have to know who you are in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 is a great one to start with. You can also check out These 20 Encouraging Bible Verses about Our Identity in Christ and let them begin to wash over your heart.
- Start listening to your self talk, if you are agreeing with these labels of the past that is the enemy trying to keep you in bondage to the past. Realize that you have been set free from those things you are not a slave to them any longer (Galatians 5:1). Then go back and repeat step one.
- Ask Holy Spirit to help you begin to take every thought captive that goes against who God says you are and make it obey His word. 2 Corinthians 10:5
- Forgive yourself. God has forgiven you, so you have no right to keep holding your past over your own head. If this is hard for you to do then try praying this prayer: Father, would you give me the strength through Holy Spirit to forgive myself for (insert whatever the past sin was) and to release myself from the past debt.
When you begin to live in the identity that Christ has given you, your attitude changes, your standards change, you begin to respect yourself, and you begin to see others the way God sees them. The perspective you have for yourself and others finally aligns with God’s perspective.