Wednesday, November 30, 2011

That No-Good Lyin' Cheatin' Stealin' Son of A...

You read that title and thought that I was mad at Hubby or Daddy again, didn't you? Sorry, but no. I have not affixed those labels to either one of them in at least a few weeks (joke - it has been much longer). However, I have been thinking about where those labels come from. They are not God-given names, for sure. They are cheap imitations. How did I get to a point of letting these types of labels seep into my consciousness? 

My Heavenly Father has names for me. He calls me Beloved, Pretty Girl, and sometimes He calls me Rosebud. My loving husband answers all of my phone calls to him with, "Hey, Beautiful!". Daddy still calls me his Brown-Eyed Whippersnapper. Mama called me Sweetie Pie. These are all names born out of love. They are names that I value and appreciate. But most often, they are not how I think of myself.

Most often, I think of myself in terms of labels. Labels are cheap imitations of names that are authored by the Father of Lies. Do not ever doubt that he is sneaky enough to make us believe these lies. He is an expert. "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."* If he can do that, he can convince us of all kinds of things. He sneaks in with a fact and then twists it into a judgement. We very rarely realize this is going on in our minds until the idea is entrenched.

Let me show you how it works. I will see a woman that I think is pretty. The Liar whispers in my ear, "You don't look like her." This is an actual fact. She is five inches taller than me, has a different hair color and a different eye color than I do. Those are facts. But then he slips in a tiny whisper, "you're ugly...".

Something might remind me of the circumstances of my birth - this reminder usually comes up when I talk about the fact that I am adopted. A fact is that a girl who was not married gave birth to me. The tiny whisper comes, "you're illegitimate... you are a bastard".

It goes on and on until I have amassed a huge group of labels for myself.

It is hard to move forward in life when you are crushed by such a weight of untruth. I have often said that the lies are easier to believe because I hear them more often; but now I have to question that. I have not had an actual human being use a label for me like this in quite some time. So why would I believe a fallen angel over the One who created me? Surely the Creator knows me better. He has sent people into my life to love me and affirm my gifts. Why would I believe the Devil, who has come to kill and destroy? (John 10:10)

If anyone is a no-good lyin' cheatin' stealin' son of anything, it would be Satan. We have been told that he has come to do all of these things. So why would we listen to him about something so important as our worth? Why would we listen to other people who believe his lies?

People Of The Second Chance has started a new campaign called "Labels Lie". You can read about it here and here. POTSC is seeking to open up a dialogue about how toxic labels and the shame they engender steal our true identities. It is a conversation worth having. Too many of us have bought in to the lies. We need to turn that around now. I am going to participate. I will probably stumble and fall at times, but I am going on this journey.

I am declaring this blog a safe place. If you want to tell about your struggle with labels in the comments, this is a place where you can say what you need to say without reprisals or having us believe the lies about you. If it is too personal, but you still want to tell me about it, you can email me at ce dot counterman @ gmail dot com. Join me on this journey to believing in the identity the Creator gave us!

*Quote from Verbal Kent in The Usual Suspects


  1. Wow! Such a powerful entry. As a youth pastor, I see teenagers buying into labels all the time. I appreciate you posting this for all to read!

  2. @youth pastor Thank you so much! I'm really trying to change my relationship with labels!

  3. Brave post, Carolyn, mainly because you are exposing a weakness that so many of us try to hide - that we find lies easier to believe than the truth.

    I've said this to you elsewhere, but I'm putting it here as a more permanent reminder. You have a unique story to tell, a unique voice to tell it with and a unique talent that needs to be used to tell it.


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