Labels: Apply With Care
by Charlotte Siems
Long ago a happy couple got married and went away on their honeymoon. While they were gone, a group of their friends decided to play a prank on them by removing the labels on all of the canned goods in their pantry. For months afterward, the newlyweds played a guessing game when it was time to cook dinner!
Labels can be helpful and even necessary when it comes to the pantry, garage, office and attic. But when it comes to people, not so much.
It has been said that rather than people not living up to their potential, they are living up to their labels.
Think about it. What labels did you receive in childhood? College? Early marriage?
Are your labels words like smart, hardworking, pretty, organized? Or are they words like dumb, lazy, ugly, rebellious, worthless?
What labels do you give others, especially those closest to you? Introducing your child as your problem child or saying he’s in the terrible two’s is applying that label in his mind and letting it sink into his heart.
We believe what we hear and think, then act accordingly.
We treat others in the way that we’ve been thinking about them, even if we never come out and say the words.
Have you been aggravated lately with your husband or a certain child? What labels have you been giving them with your thoughts and words?
We even label ourselves without realizing it. We speak and think about ourselves according to a medical condition or perhaps a skill level we had years ago. Then we proceed to feel and act in a way that matches the label.
If you’re going to attach labels to anyone (including yourself), make them good and positive and helpful. Whenever you think and speak well of others, it lifts you up, too.
Be the person who goes around putting life-giving, goal-setting, encouraging, future-speaking labels on others. Apply those labels with love and pray that they stick.
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