THE LABELISTIC SOCIETY
08.08.21 // Summer Faves, Week 6 // josh lawrence, recovery pastor
We live in a culture where people carry around different labels – Conservative, Liberal, Republican, Democrat, Baptist, Non-Denominational, etc.
Labels are very powerful things because it will affect the way you view a person. If you receive a label from someone else, it can also affect the way you see yourself and that relationship.
Pastor Andy Stanley posed the question, “Who has the right to label something?” The Manufacturer & The Purchaser/Owner
An even more important question – “Who has the right to label you?” The Manufacturer & The Purchaser/Owner who is your Heavenly Father.
No one else has the right to label you, and on the flipside, you have no right to label others.
If the people of God take this to heart, then we can present to the world an alternative that is attractive and reset our witness to something very respectable.
Matthew 7:1…”Do not judge…” In John 7:24, Jesus taught “judge correctly.” What’s the difference? Don’t throw out truth but do throw out condemnation. Labeling someone hopeless or unchangeable is an example of condemnation.
According to Barna Research group, the number one quality people look for to talk about spiritual matters is…”Listens without judgment.”
Matthew 7:2…You can’t live up to your own standards. Be aware of the measures you use to judge people.
Matthew 7:3-4…What is Jesus teaching here spiritually? This is about how you treat people. If you think someone else has a plank in their eye, but not you or if you think what’s in their eye is much larger than what you have in your eye than you will be judgmental.
Matthew 7:5…A hypocrite is someone who expects something of someone else that they are unwilling to do themselves.
Let’s take measures to get our vision cleared…Dr. Henry Cloud teaches that when you see someone ask yourself questions like…
- Am I feeling critical or negative about this person FIRST…before I converse with them?
- Am I feeling uneasy about this person FIRST before I listen to them?
- Am I labeling this person, condemning this person, judging this person FIRST…before I even make eye contact with them?
- Do I already have my mind made up about this person and what they are going to be like FIRST…before I meet with them?
Another helpful tip to clearing vision is personalize it instead of generalizing it. Generalizing the way you see people is often a plank in the eye. It’s a distorted view. Personalize it instead.
You need others who you trust to help safely get the plank out.
If you will first take measures to get the plank out of your own eye, the promise is that “then you will see clearly…” (Matt. 7:5)
You will be someone who refuses to label others, but instead who loves others.