Hanging on Their Every Word

Hanging on Their Every Word

If you write, then you’re a writer. Grab the label and run!

But please carry it, and all your labels, lightly.

Here’s why….

Picture it: You’re cruising along peacefully in your new red-hot Jaguar (hey, it’s my visual), feeling smug about being in control of the road when you suddenly realize you’re about to miss your exit unless you get into that very congested right-most lane.

Being the good driver you are (and you wear that label proudly), you glance quickly into the rearview mirror and—Eureka!—you see nothing blocking your passage. So, you move smoothly into the lane.

You feel like a NASCAR driver.

But wait! Where’s that horn coming from?

Next thing you know a maniac driver is sidling up on your left, offering a choice gesture, and calling you a #!@*!

Ooops, you forgot about that teeny, tiny blindspot on the right side of your car; you know that spot—the one that only manifests itself when there IS a car in the way.

Whoa! So now you’ve been labeled a #!@*!

Now the question becomes, “Do you believe that you are a #!@*! ?”

Chances are you’re no more a #!@*! than I am.

So, you label the guy a jerk because he obviously doesn’t know you made an innocent mistake. He’s a hothead, an idiot, why he’s a #!@*! himself!

In a moment, we have a case of dueling labels being tossed back and forth, up and down the highway.

Fortunately, none of these labels stick. You don’t dissolve in shame or waste brain cells working to overcome your supposed inadequacy as a driver.

Much to our credit, in situations like this, we have enough internal awareness to ignore the labels we’re assigned.

Why then, when it comes to other labels that are just as inaccurate and improperly assigned, do we become vulnerable and stressed by focusing too strongly on them?

And, on the reverse, why do we become obsessed with securing certain labels…..like writer?

Best advice: Don’t give others permission to condemn or label you. Carry your labels lightly—both those you despise and those you like. The former are damaging, while the latter are fleeting like fine chocolate: good while they last, but not worth fretting over when gone.

Bottom line: Jesus was labeled a glutton and a drunkard because he spent time with tax-collectors and sinners (Matt 11:19; Luke 7:34). He ignored those labels because he cared more about pleasing God than impressing the flitting culture of his time.

We would do well to follow his lead.

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