This isn’t the ironic conclusion of a child that has grown into an adult while never being able to accept the theme of “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”. It is simply one who experienced that words can and do hurt when hurled at another. Want to know more about someone? Look at the words they use. Examine the labels they place on people. Examine the motives, intent, and judgment buried in the words that others may simply see as metaphors or simple descriptions or casual labels. Words tell many stories, not all of them intended.
At times we let others control our behavior by the labels they use. It is as if we give up freedom because of the bonds of their words. We are not obligated but the power of their words seems to bind us and control our response. Watching a political debate where a candidates natural working style of collaborative and nurturing. The debates, accusations, and labels often extract a toll that others do not understand or comprehend. Yet the price is paid to the demon behind our words as soon as they begin their travels.
Positive labels have the opposite impact though it seems we put those in our mind’s closet as soon as we receive them. It is as if we cannot bear to wear them; usually I cannot even publicly acknowledge that I have accepted praise and hope.
Some have promoted the idea that one has to be of a certain name to approach Divinity. Included in this idea are the boundaries of time, place, and name. Only those with the right label, dressed in the right way, going to the right place, acting in the right way, and with the right attitude will be able to approach God.
More semantics that are far away from the God and life I know.
“But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you're called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter.” (John 4.23a)