Recently during a class at Hope4Life, a lady candidly spoke about her struggles in finding her true self, despite a lifetime of family, friends and medical professionals labeling her with diagnoses and titles for who she is supposed to be. As I sat there listening, I remembered some of the false labels I've been given throughout my life.
Did someone ever label you during your childhood as stupid, fat, rebellious, clumsy or insane? How about as useless or worthless? Did someone ever put you in a box to define who they thought you were?
I have learned that negative labels and classifications can have profound consequences in our self-esteem and become self-fulfilling prophecies. In extreme cases, these labels can dictate the direction that our lives take, having believed lies about ourselves that will adversely affect us forever.
These erroneous labels could mean that we could have spent most of our lives walking around confused about who God really meant for us to be! That we may have suppressed our God-given abilities and talents and kept ourselves confined to something we are not, meaning that our problem or behavioral issue may be a gift in disguise. And because we may have lived our lives up to these incorrect labels, we now find ourselves in need of an emotional recall. The only way to do that is through honesty, vulnerability and openness. Only then will we find out our true self.
The good news is that those false labels are not permanent and can be removed! No one knows what’s really inside of each of us until we ask God to help us find who we really are and what he intended us to be. That will bring newfound beauty and true freedom to our lives.
* This article is dedicated to that lady at Hope4Life who had the courage to speak up, be vulnerable and share her struggles, as many of us need to be in order to find out God's true label .