Labels are a part of our world. They are, in their simplest form, a simple categorization…a tool to simplify the tremendous complexities of life. They are, in their more sinister form a lens that distorts perspective. Studies have confirmed that a ‘labeled’ individual is perceived more according to the label that the presenting facts.
Beyond the impact labels have on our perception of others, labels accepted as truth determine our own actions, restrict options and darken hope. Labels are a poor substitute for seeking deep understanding.
Each person is a complex creation of God Himself. Understanding identity is critical to the Christian life. It is critical to life in general. We cannot know ourselves until we find out who God designed us to be!
Following is a project to help disciples delve into the beauty of a life filled with Jesus! Begin with considering the ’empty wagon’ parable. Pursing understanding of identity offers penetrating truth for ourselves and others. Everyone searches to know who they are…and who others are. The quest for identity leads us onto some rough paths. Praise be to God, there is no quietness until we find ourselves in Him. We try activities and self-improvement project, but find that a vacuum remains between who we are and who we desire to be. We keep trying until we realize that Jesus is the fullness we are looking for.
This truth becomes even more profound when we apply it to others. This is a noisy world. Everyone has an opinion and proclaims it with gusto. Those who are the loudest are typically the ones seeking to find answers the hardest. Choosing to be the ones who view such ‘loud wagons’ with grace and mercy may be the path that the Holy Spirits needs to give them what they are seeking!
For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. Colossians 2:9,10
The truth remains that we are empty until we live in Christ and are filled by Christ! Everything else is just a label that sticks to the outside…but our hearts remain empty. We do all sorts of things to feel full…but every action outside of Jesus just leaves us more empty. The Word of God helps us understand how Jesus fills us. When we begin to grasp all we really are and have, our world expands immensely!
Let’s look at how to FILL UP! The list below offers verses that give us a glimpse of who we are when we live in Christ—and welcome Him to live in us. It is not an exhaustive list! There are many more verses that could be used.
Begin by drawing a simple body silhouette for yourself. Then, look at the list below and begin to fill your silhouette with truths from God. He is the only one able to ‘label’ us! Please know this is not an exhaustive list of what God says about those who receive Jesus Christ as Savior. It will help you begin to see yourself as God sees you!
2 Corinthians 5:17 – New creation; new
Ephesians 2:10 God’s work
1 Peter 2:9 chosen, royal, holy, God’s possession
Romans 8:1 NOT condemned, approved
John 1:12 child of God
2 Corinthians 5:21 righteousness of God
John 15:5 productive, fruitful, branch
1 Corinthians 6:19 temple
Ephesians 2:6 seated in heaven
John 15:15 friend of Jesus
Galatians 2:20 crucified, CHRIST in me!
2 Timothy 1:7 power, love, self-control
Romans 8:17 heirs of God, sibling of Jesus
Philippians 4:13 able, competent
1 John 4:4 overcomer, winner, victor
Philippians 3:20 citizen of heaven
Romans 12:2 transformed, renewed
1 Corinthians 12:27 part of the body of Christ
1 Corinthians 6:17 joined to Spirit of Jesus
1 John 5:18 protected
Romans 5:1 peace with God, connected to God, justified, cleared, not guilty
Philippians 4:19 equipped, fully supplied, NOT needy
Colossians 3:12 chosen, holy, beloved
Ephesians 1:3 blessed
John 15:16 appointed, fruitful
Ephesians 1:7 redeemed, forgiven
Psalm 139:14 wonderful, God-made, God-designed
Romans 8:37 conqueror
Matthew 5:14 light
Ephesians 1:4 holy, blameless
1 Corinthians 2:16 mind of Christ
Romans 8:28 called
2 Corinthians 5:20 ambassador, messenger
Matthew 5:13 salt, flavor, preservative
Romans 6:23 – Ephesians 2:5 alive!
1 Peter 1:23 eternal, lasting
Colossians 1:14 redeemed, saved, bought, forgiven
1 Thessalonians 1:4 loved, chosen
1 Peter 2:11 sojourner, exile, pilgrim, traveler
James 1:22 do-er, servant
1 John 1:9 cleansed, holy
1 Peter 2:5 living stone, spiritual home, holy priesthood
Acts 1:8 power-filled, powerful, witness
Romans 6:18 slave of righteousness
1 Corinthians 3:9 co-worker of God, field of God, work in progress, masterpiece
Galatians 3:28 united, connected, part of the whole body
Colossians 1:22 holy, blameless, above reproach
2 Corinthians 2:15 sweet aroma, fragrance
When your silhouette is complete, post up a picture! If you want to create a ‘cloak’ for your silhouette of labels you ‘wear’ – fun, silly, smart, mom, daughter, son, writer, secretary…have fun. Decorate your silhouette in any way you wish. We wear different ‘hats’ in life but we must remember they are changeable. Our core identity does not change. Any label that does not fit what God says about us must go! Live in who God says you are!