Ours is a thrifty family. We are huge fans of yard sales and second hand stores. Even if I could afford to buy the moon one would still find me in places with the permeating scent of storage. I thrive on the the thrill of the hunt for finding that unique item that screams my name or the name of someone I love.
I’ve noticed an irritating thing as of late. People hosting yard sales are beginning to point out brand name items. Much to my chagrin, stores like Goodwill have been doing this for years and charging ample fees to go along with the name–despite the fact that it’s used. But, at yard sales? Look, it’s your business if you want to pay $100 for your purse but I’m not paying more than $5 for it, brand name or not. I don’t care what label it bears. The question is, Do I like it? I don’t buy names. I buy style–mine.
Years ago we had a friend who had brothers. One was diagnosed with cancer. Ever since requesting prayer for him, when our friend would speak of his brothers, he’d say, “You know, the one with cancer.” It didn’t sit on me quite right then, but links to people such as this have become even more aggravating to me. With negative diagnosis, bullying, harsh criticism, and the like seeming to be more and more prevalent, so are the relationships between people and labels. It’s maddening. I mean, who wants to be known as, “The brother with cancer”? Why not the one with the great personality? The wonderful sense of humor? Or even, the one that’s older than me? Why, “the one with cancer”?
Listen to people talk. Hear them tell of their relationship to others. My friend who suffers from depression….My aunt who committed adultery….My father the drunk….As a follower of Christ, am I not adding to spiritual chaos and people’s demise, and perhaps my own, by participating in unholy labeling?
The LORD really began talking to me about this some months ago. I could hear Him saying, “Don’t let that become your identity. My people have got to stop letting certain things become part of their identity. You’re giving too much away.”
As if to reiterate this, while this phrase was strong on me, I was watching a Christian program that I often view. A woman was sharing her story of how she was diagnosed with, you guessed it, cancer. Do you know what the LORD told her?
“Do not let this diagnosis become part of your identity.”
To obey, she posted scriptures all over her home and saturated her mind, her mouth, and her heart with what God said pertaining to her. She battled and she won.
Our enemy has sunk his claws in even deeper. At Bible study one night, someone mentioned grandparents living here in the United States who were anxiously awaiting the birth of a grandchild in Canada. When the blessed event came, the couple refused to tell the grandparents what sex the child was because they wanted “it” to decide. That’s so much better, letting a child be an “it” until “it” can figure out what “it” is. That’s right, leave it to adults to cause mass confusion in a child’s life from birth. Let me help you out: if “it” has certain equipment and/or certain chromosomes, “it” is male or female. “It” may be confused, most likely thanks to you, but “it” most assuredly has an identity.
I feel sorry for people who truly struggle with this type of thing due to circumstances beyond their control. Maybe they were born with multiple sex characteristics. (However, scientists state that despite multiple sex characteristics, children will naturally gravitate toward the sex they were created to be). Or maybe they were abused in such a way that they feel they are shielding their identity by changing it. That pain is real and my heart goes out to these people.
What I can’t wrap my mind around is adults, parents, doing this to babies whose sex organs and chromosomes are clearly evident. Doing this to a child, made with a distinct identity and purpose by God, is like telling a watchmaker that he built a rowboat. You can say what you want all you want but it won’t change the truth. A boy is a boy. A girl is a girl. A watch is a watch. A rowboat is a rowboat. Each destiny will never wholly be fulfilled if the purpose has been distorted.
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27 NKJV
We are playing right into our enemy’s hands with this mentality and we’re doing it to another human being from birth. Isn’t life confusing enough, hard enough, without trying to figure out what sex you are? Did we have to add something absolute onto the pile of unknowns that they are going to face? What if this child is diagnosed with cancer like our friend’s brother? Like the woman on the t.v. program that I watch? With what will they fight when it took them so many years to decide what sex they are and perhaps they aren’t sure even now? Where will they get their clarity? From what will they draw a solid identity?
Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:47-49 NKJV
We are to derive our identities from the Word of God because it is a solid foundation. We are to hear His sayings and do them so that we will not be shaken. So you come from a family of alcoholics, does that make you one? So you were abused, does that mean you will be an abuser? So you were plainly born a female, are you suddenly a male? So you grew up “poorer than dirt”, as we country folk say, does that make you poor? Not necessarily, not according to God’s Word. If we hear His Word and do His Word we won’t live in alcoholism, abuse, confusion, or poverty. We might have visited those places, but we don’t have to live there. Those places might come to visit us, but we don’t have to let them stay.
I remember inquiring about a home years ago. The woman asked where I live. I told her.
She said, “No one living there could afford my house.”
My spine immediately stiffened as she judged me simply by my address. “You have no right saying such things,” I said in rebuke. “You don’t know me.”
“You’re right,” she acquiesced, “I don’t know you. I guess someone living there could afford my house.”
Guess what, even if we could have afforded that place 😉 I wouldn’t have given her the pleasure of selling it to me.
Aren’t ya tired of being put down? Aren’t ya tired of doctors cursing you with your family’s medical history every time you see them? Aren’t ya tired of satan, your accuser, going before God saying he has a right to you because of something your ancestors did a 100 years ago? Aren’t ya fed up living according to the world’s system, accepting their distorted ideas, when you could be filled with the Truth? I am. We must listen to God. What is He saying about us?
Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He is looking to label us. Ultimately, he has come to steal our identities. And he is doing it through: grim diagnosis, unjust words, past mistakes and/or outright sins, family history, ignorance, political correctness, the list could go on. How do we combat that? Listen to God. He came to give us life and life more abundantly. Say that rather than anything else. And post it all over the house until you get this:
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2 NKJV
Do what the lady with cancer did, dig through the Bible and post the words He gives to you. Meditate on them, say them, believe them. Let them become your identity.
Join me today in getting the Word of God concerning us personally in our heads, seal it in our hearts, and speak it from our mouths. That’s the only way we’re going to triumph over the enemy of our souls.
I’ll close with a song from Lauren Daigle pertaining to what God has to say about us. LISTEN. Have a blessed day.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 NKJV