I’ve heard it all my life: perfect.
Dentists frequently tell me I have “perfect teeth” (thanks to braces aligning my bite and daily brushing habits instilled in my youth). Hairdressers frequently tell me I have “perfect hair” (apparently based on texture, degree of waviness, and ability to hold style). I’ve even been told I have “perfect skin” (for its clarity).
In school, I was the “perfect student” graduating with a 4.0 (thanks to school being easy because of my God-given learning style and aptitudes). As a teenager, others railed me for my dating standards, saying I’d never find “Mr. Perfect” (which I did, in the degree that he is the God-made perfect fit for me).
While I couldn’t really control any of those things, I was given labels based on others’ observations or judgments.
I am now keenly aware that we as humans have this innate ability to latch onto labels others give us and then define ourselves by them. (Wemmicks, anyone?*) For me, I behaved in accordance with the labels given me–in this case, it pushed me to be a better student and a “goody-two-shoes” (yes, that’s another label I wore–another of many).
But something deeper was going on. Our Enemy, the Father of Lies, was quick to whisper those labels to my heart in order to deceive me. As a result, I could verbally explain sin and the gospel, but for many years in my heart I believed “I’m not really that bad–I mean, look how good I am! God must really be pleased with me.” Ugh.
Over time, God has been faithful to reveal Satan’s hideous lies. Hear me out: I. am. not. perfect. I will not list my many faults and shortcomings here to prove it to you (there’s not room!) but I will tell you that God has brought me to a place where I can glory in my infirmities, for Christ’s strength is made perfect in my weakness. His perfection has been imparted to me so that I stand before God clothed in Christ’s righteousness, instead of my own filthy attempts. What a glorious truth to combat the Enemy’s lies!
What labels have people given you? Take a minute and search deeply. How would you or others describe you?
Has Satan been using those labels to speak lies to your heart? If so, have you believed them? Whether positive or negative, take your labels to God and ask His Spirit to show you from His Word what’s true. Then think on those things.
God’s truth is the perfect antidote for people’s labels and Satan’s lies. Believe Him. Be what He says you are… and nothing more.
*If you didn’t get the Wemmicks reference, grab a copy of the illustrated book You Are Special, by Max Lucado. It’s one of my favorite books of all time, and it’s not just for children.