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Label Maker!

When I was young, my mother used to have this cool little label maker.  Not the high-tech kind folks have now, but one where you put colored plastic in one end, turned a wheel to the letter you wanted, and squeezed the trigger to emboss the tape.  Being the energetic, organized type, I gave myself a severe hand cramp labeling everything I had!  Blue tape on this stuff; red on that–everything had to be labeled!  I also learned to label things without the little embossing machine.  I learned to call this “wrong” and that “right.”  This person “stupid” and that one “weird.”  My various stepfathers also taught me to label and categorize the array of colorful people I experienced growing up in the sixties!  “Look at that ‘Queer,’ Jimmy!”  “Look at that hippie!”  Or, “look at that worthless blankety-blank!  He’s driving a Cadillac to the welfare office!”  Christ has done an amazing job at helping me unlearn to label people, but I’m still guilty at times–and so are most other Christians!  I’ve heard all the stereotypes cast in church as well.  “Look at those hooligans!  They’ve got no respect for the church.”  Or, “How about those Smith’s… how dare they come to into God’s house dressed like they’re going to a ball game!”  Friends, I’m still fighting my urge to label people, and there is a fuel for my fight!  I know by time spent in God’s Word that Jesus never saw labels!  He only saw people!  Not black; not white; not “queer” or “straight.”  Just hurting, lost and confused PEOPLE!  May God have mercy on our judgmental “embossing machine” souls!  To borrow from a story I read tonight, did Jesus say, “My people shall be known by the fish on their cars, or the gold crosses around their necks?”  Or did He say, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another”? (John 13:35)

“As for those who seemed to be important–Whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance.”  Galatians 2:6a

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er

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