Have you ever been labeled with a derogatory name that you just cannot seem to get out from under? Maybe you were branded as a child and were repeatedly called stupid, crazy, fat, ugly or some other belittling adjective. Many children are made to feel they cannot do anything right and we wonder why they are not achieving anything with their life.
Have you ever thought about the fact that Jesus spent 3 years having to wrangle a bunch of misfits serving in his discipleship program? But he never once treated them as “losers!”
I mean when you think about it, they WERE a bunch of losers! Peter, the fisherman, needed help catching fish and keeping his mouth shut so he would not put his foot in it making loser comments. There is also Matthew, a Jew, serving Rome by taxing his brethren. Come on now, capital L-loser- here! But the worst loser of all, Judas Iscariot! However, Jesus never once treated him or them as losers. He never even called them derogatory names. Jesus was not the labeler of “Doubting” Thomas! He actually elevated them in their thinking, like when he changed Simon’s name to Peter meaning rock or a pebble.
How are we treating those under our leadership and authority? Are we continuing the tradition of “name calling”? Have we labeled them and wonder why they are not trying to achieve higher goals in life?
What about your spouse? A friend? Or even a neighbor? Have they been targeted by your name calling?
We teach our children to be kind, not to call names and never treat someone rudely, and yet, we are guilty, guilty, guilty! The very things we instruct them not to do, we find ourselves doing toward them, our spouse, or our neighbor.
God’s Word is so precise on this topic of how we are to treat one another and the words that we are to use. Why is it that we fail so miserably in this area? Words can hurt! In fact, the Bible says that our words have the power to give life or to take life (Proverbs 18:21). They also divide. And God speaks of His desire for unity throughout the Bible.
So, what about you? Are you sharing LIFE, today, with your children, spouse, and neighbor?
- Let everything you say be good . . . so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. (Ephesians 4:29, NLT)
- Imitate God. (Ephesians 5:1)
- Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. (Matthew 7:12)
- Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)
- Be kind to each other. (Ephesians 4:32)
- Love your neighbor as yourself. (Galatians 5:14)