Mar 14

What to Do With the Labels the World Gives You

I was a nervous test-taker in school. If I studied, I’d do fine, but my attitude often got the best of me. I remember one particular test in the fourth grade. Our teacher passed it out to us and as soon as soon as I’d flipped through it, I decided I couldn’t do it. It was too much, too overwhelming for me.


Instead of answering any questions on that test, I scrawled a big F across the top. Next to it I wrote, “I suck. I suck. I suck.” Then, I put my head down on the desk.


Can you believe that? Little nine-year-old me was already labeling herself: Failure.


I remember my teacher writing on my report card that semester, “Andrea often defeats herself before she starts.” Little did she, or I, know that I would continue to defeat myself and label myself a failure—with a capital “F”—for many years to come.


It was when I met Christ in my twenties that I realized I was playing the wrong part. I wasn’t a failure. I had just told myself I was and, therefore, lived like it for a long time.


I know I’m not alone in playing the wrong the part. We all do this. Someone tells us something when we’re younger or something traumatic happens that shapes our identity in some way, and we live like we’re stuck in a role that wasn’t made for us. We’re unhappy and feel like something’s missing, but we don’t know how to start playing a different part.


A lot of the time, we even get comfortable playing the parts of “failure” or “victim” or whatever it is the world has labeled you.


This is why I love that the Bible tells us who we are. It tells us the part we’re meant to play:


“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26).


“…for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8).


“…and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).


“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household” (Ephesians 2:19).


Who the Bible says that I am is so different from who I told myself I was when I took that test in fourth grade. I’m not a failure. I don’t “suck.” I am an heir of God. I am a child of the light. I am a citizen of God’s household!


Are you playing the wrong part? What role have you taken on that you never should have? If there is any doubt about who you are, go back to those verses above and to so many other places in scripture that tell us who we are in Christ.


Drop the labels and the titles and live today as you truly are: a beloved child of God, walking in freedom and victory.

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