Labels and the Kingdom of God: Who is He and Who are We?
*Victorious. Beautiful. Unloved. Forgiven. Chosen.*
Take a journey down memory lane, how many of us can recall playing “spot the difference” where the sole purpose of the game was to identify the object that didn’t quite fit based on a group of item’s attributes, features or characteristics?
From childhood experiences such as these, we were taught very early on in life how to label the things and people around us. Over time a simple lesson we picked up through a childhood game translated into the other areas of our lives. The intention all good and well because categories, descriptors, and classifications are needed to help us navigate through life and bring a sense of order and identity into our personal spaces. The experiences we had growing up developed into a realization that as people we feel most comfortable when we can box things into categories based on trends, traits, colors, shapes, sizes, and so on. It’s human nature to want to find a way of bringing structure into our environments which can at times be quite complex, messy and frustrating.
One of the problems is that some labels and the negative or untrue things we say about ourselves and others (no matter how undesired) can stick for a lifetime. Another problem is that as human beings, as brilliant as we may be, there are just no words to describe some things/concepts because they are truly beyond our level of comprehension. Reflect back to the words you first read at the beginning of the article, replace unloved with loved because these are just some of the ways God personally sees you and are solidified in scripture.
*Victorious. Beautiful. Loved. Forgiven. Chosen.*
Amongst these, what are some of the labels or tags that you’ve placed on yourself or that other people have given you? If you had to write down five words to identify yourself – which words would you choose and what meaning would they hold for you?
Would your words align to what God says about you?
We know from the Book of Genesis, that we were made in God’s image. Couple this with Psalm 139 which beautifully captures the deep and intimate relationship God has with us – His children. We get to see God’s faithfulness throughout this scripture and we get a peek into His nature but we also know that it does not begin to scratch the surface to describe who God really is.
Ask a child to tell you who they think God is and how they would define Him and most certainly it would be very different from what you or I would say. Psalm 139 is known for affirming God’s omnipresence and perfect knowledge of people – His creation. Our revelations of who God is and His nature is revealed through the experiences He has carried us through as well as from the moments we’ve shared personally with Him. We also know while some things are easily grouped into definite categories, there are other things, beings, and concepts that are just indescribable. The most precious one of all is God who is limitless in power, nature and being.
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