Do you collect labels? Some companies offer some sort of refund or reward policy for returning their labels. I suppose it is a way for them to track sales and usage.
I collect labels, but I don’t collect them for any particular corporate demographic or marketing research. I collect labels because there are so many of them flying around out there.
Some of the labels I have collected over the years are: liberal, conservative, fundamentalist, evangelical, loser, Christian, nobody, freak, aloof, insensitive, punk; I could go on, but you probably get the idea.
Some of these labels I accepted, some I rebelled against. Some felt like they drew blood when I heard them. I suppose every one of them fit in one way or another.
Like all the various labels we put on one another, some of my labels say more about the person giving me the label than they do about me. Some of them mostly remind us what a disjointed society we live in, and how sad it is that even as adults we too easily resort to name-calling and label-hurling.
Here’s a different take on labeling for you. Back when God first called Abram (who was later renamed Abraham), God labeled ever person on earth. There were two kinds of people, God told Abe. God was calling Abram to be and to begin the family of God’s own people – special people identified by God for a very special purpose. So there were to be God’s people, and everyone else. Pretty simple labeling, huh?
Here’s the side we don’t often hear, though: The way God labeled all of us wasn’t “My People” and “everyone else.” God’s desire was that everyone become one of the people of God. The whole reason God declared Abram and his descendants to be God’s people was so that through them we ALL might become God’s people.
Try that label on everyone you meet this week!