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  • Elizabeth Billingsley

Why The Labels?


Hello everyone! I'm getting blogging started a bit late this week but I am back!

Some conversations in the last week have provided the title for this blog and I will expound on the why.

In our society as of late, we label everything and everyone. I believe we do this in the hopes of understanding ideas, people or our world in general. Sometimes I think we do this to assign identity to someone when we really have no right to assign an identity to them because we did not make them, God did. What do these labels say about how we see our own identity at times? I think we don't even know who we are at times. I will address how we can fix these identity issues later in the blog.

Allow me to give you some examples of the labels I keep hearing: alpha male, beta male, feminist, snowflake, right-winger, left-winger, libtard, fundamentalist, feminazi, and freak to name a few. As you can see, these labels center around ideas, philosophies, supposed characteristics and politics. They are human attempts to assign value to something we do not know or understand many times. They are our go-to's. Yet, do they really enhance a conversation, add meaning, identity or value to another person? In my opinion, these labels put people in a nice, neat box and attempt to downplay or even degrade them as a person - usually because you simply don't agree with their idea, philosophy or politics. We are all, at some point, guilty of using these labels. We may even have identified with them erroneously.

Over the last few years, I have begun to see things differently. As I was labeled "not good enough" in my abusive marriage, I don't want anyone else to be labeled. Labels destroy identity and don't allow you to see the person. Many of the aforementioned labels are used by people against other people who they really don't know - usually from the other side of a computer screen. I'm going to acknowledge here that yes people and their ideas may frustrate us sometimes. However, do we really have a right to label them or to try and define the identity of someone we neither know nor made? I do not believe we do. Yet I am as guilty as any of you for doing it a time or two, believe me.

Please allow me to tell you how I think we can do away with all this labeling.

For starters, if you are a man, model your life after Jesus Christ, one of the greatest men who ever walked the Earth. No one will need to put you in an Alpha or Beta category because you will be more than any of those two "types of men" could ever be! Gentlemen, labeling one another further fractures male/female relations and leaves us wondering why you do this at times. Jesus did not ask you to be the strongest man ever; he asked you to love justice, walk humbly with your God and love mercy. He does not identify as Alpha or Beta - He doesn't have to and neither do you.

Ladies, model your life after Jesus Christ. He was the greatest women's liberator of all times! He went to bat for you in a culture that saw you as second class citizens. He does not ask you to be so tough and hard that you can't receive love and help. He does not ask you to sexualize yourselves so you can feel "liberated." He never sexualized one woman. He showed them who they were in Him and that set them free. Read about Mary Magdelan if you don't believe me.

Lastly, for the politicians and those who follow them; each and every one of you have been allowed to rise to your position by God Himself. You are only in authority because He has let you be so. I will say again, model your life and leadership after Jesus Christ. He was humble and served all He came in contact with. He did not lord his power over them or have one standard for Himself and one for them. He spoke the truth always - not when it pleased him or would get him ahead. If you will model your leadership style after Him, you will not only do well in your political career but you will have less dirt to sling and perhaps less dirt would be slung at you.

I, for one, will not answer to society's labels nor another's personal label. I belong to Jesus and He defines me - not anyone or anything else.

I believe that covers it ladies and gentlemen. Jesus is the answer to our society's labels. Jesus is the answer to our society's ills. Jesus is the answer to our society's political upheaval. Jesus is the answer to our personal identity crises. Jesus, his words and his life are our answer.

Until next time,

Elizabeth


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