Journeyman Journal – Labels

It is something I could relate to very well albeit from a different experience.

They called him disruptive, they said he was a nuisance, they couldn’t get an official diagnosis but they had written him off as a hyperactive, inconsiderate and intemperate slob. They chucked him out of one school and he would have been expelled from another if his Dad hadn’t taken the decision to send him over to his own country where he received a completely different approach. They didn’t smother him with goodies, but their starting point was genuinely understanding him and influencing him to appreciate his surroundings and responsibilities. In that environment the labels he had been given were highlighted as the poor efforts of people under pressure and unused to diverse expressions of life. One person’s exuberance was another person’s disruptive nature. How that was labelled could imprison or liberate.

Labels are important. They shape our understanding of what we approach. For the sake of truth and what’s right, we need to be very careful how we label things. A wrong labelling can poison folks or worse still mean folks miss out on engaging with an experience that can bring healing, courage and comfort.

I have been guilty of placing the wrong label at times. The consequences of that have wrecked friendships and meant I have missed out on some beautiful opportunities. I would tell you that will never happen again, but life tells me that I will need the wisdom and grace of God to live up to that. As a victim of this, I know firsthand how demoralising it can be especially when I allow myself to let the repeated labelling stick to me.

There is a label, however, that as it’s appreciated can change everything. A label I have touched on before and one I will explore further.

For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden

For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden


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