We have a “rule” in our family about name calling–namely, don’t do it.
I know people like to joke and call names in jest, little kids yelling, ‘come on poopy head’ or friends teasing, ‘hurry up slowpoke.’ But I’m pretty sensitive and don’t like any of it.
Especially when I realized it’s happening all over the place, not just as playful or derogatory, but as identifying labels…
Gay, Straight, Beauty Queen, Jock, Vegetarian, Vegan, Republican, Democrat, Nerd, Rebel, Techie, Trekkie, Californian, Christian….
It grieves me that society makes us feel the need to label-up: “I’m Gay,” “I’m Straight,” “I’m Bi,”.. “I’m …” etc., as if that’s someone’s identity.
Your life is so much more than your love preference, food preference, political preference….etc.
Do we dare ostracize others for these (superficial) things? In a world so focused on external/appearance, its easy to forget what really matters:
Kindness, Compassion, Honesty, #1Cor13 Love…
God has many Names which help reveal His Character but you can’t confine Him to any single one of them.
My 6yr old told me a child in his class is Vegetarian. I responded: ‘that child may not eat meat, but you don’t have to call him a vegetarian. He’s just a kid, a child of God, let’s not put him in a box, ok? We don’t do that with God either, right?‘ Right.
Sadly, even the label “Christian” is tainted. From “Christians” practicing convert-or-die theology during the crusades, to protestors speaking the same death and hate today. All in the Name of God. Killing, raping, burning crosses, stealing, gossiping, lying, hating….
There’s a confronting bible verse about this phenomena:
“….those who handle the law do. not. know. Me…” (Jeremiah 2:8, emphasis mine)
There’s been, and still is today, so much evil committed in God’s Name or by those professing to know God or Jesus, it may be why Jesus himself is getting a new name (Revelation 3:12).
God takes teasing and name calling pretty seriously. A prophet got teased once. A group of youth jeered, “Go up you baldhead!” The prophet cursed them and bears mauled 42 kids (2 Kings 2). It’s another, ‘Whoa there, God!’ moment, similar to when Uzzah touched the Ark of the Covenant and was struck down dead (read my take here- “Can’t Touch God, Can’t Touch You”).
But this series has been about plumbing the depths of God’s Heart, and we know He takes mean, aka Love-less ness seriously. Not just for His Own Sake, but because of His Love for us. Afterall, we are His Wild Kids and He is Love (1 John 4:8).
Just consider some effects of name calling and bullying: Poor self-image, eating disorders, depression, self harm, substance abuse, Suicide. Kids and adults alike are affected. How can God not take that seriously?!
You are free to label yourself however you like, but remember, you are Divine Offspring (Acts 17:29) and never have to confine or conform… Don’t mistake a label for your identity. God says He is the “I Am” and as God’s Kid you are, and always will be, infinitely more…!
More on identity& God’s Crazy love:
Stay the Same or Show Up?
Born to be Free
Pearl and Mother of Pearl-You are God’s Magnum Opus
Problems with perfection? Read: What I didn’t say to my son this morning: Confessions of a Perfectionist Tongue.
All Posts related to Identity and Breaking Free can be found here.
This is part of the “Wild Kids, Wild God – 31 Days Looking into God’s Heart” series