(Photo by Stevi Phipps)
Labels Don’t Define Who You Are, God Does
By Sarah Pineda
Modern society seems to be afraid and uncomfortable with people and things we are unable to categorize. Therefore, we have created labels based off of our mental capacity, physical appearance, religious and political beliefs, ethnicity and more. We fail to realize that everyone is uniquely made by God, so it is okay to be complex in who we are and not be grouped by where society places us.
Labels constrict people, and force them to fit into a certain stigma. Being labeled as the smart one, the introvert, the Christian, the Hispanic; all of these show just one side of who a person is. On questionnaires, surveys, applications, and even those funny Facebook tests, they always ask us to define ourselves with selected answers given. Some of these labels appear as the answers, and limit us.
Back in high school everyone thought of me as the fashion forward girl, who delicately picked out her outfit for the school day. This pressured me to always feel the need to look good in order to live up to the expectation of my label. When I wanted to be known instead for my faith, or my intellect, this label seemed impossible for others to see me any other way.
We can change our viewpoint on labels. The Bible states, in Psalm 139:13, that we were created in our mother’s womb. Before we took our first breath, God had molded us and determined where every freckle on our skin would go. Verse, 14 says, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Despite how the world sees us, God sees us for who we really are. Once we are able to accept this, it makes it easier to put off the labels people place on us and the labels we may put on others. Although losing this form of societal thinking may be hard, due to how far deep it is instilled in us, it is important we view others as God views them. Oftentimes, these labels are negatively placed on a person and imply promiscuous, derogatory, and insensitive meanings.
I believe it is important to be aware and learn about the labels placed on others in our society. As they remove us from seeing a person for whom they really are. We are always changing in life, going through different cycles, and because of this, we might not fit a certain label anymore. Therefore, wouldn’t it be easier to merely leave the concept of labels behind? God created us all differently than each other. I understand that I am made by the Almighty Creator, and because of this I do not need to worry about how others might label me, and you shouldn’t either.