Fri | Dec 1, 2023
Labels – Part 1

The effects of negative labelling

Published:Sunday | February 5, 2023 | 1:10 AMRev Dwight Fletcher -

We live in a world that is fixated on labels. From we are very young we start getting labelled. Here’s the problem; the positive labels hardly ever stick. However, the negative ones usually stick to us like a stain that won’t wash off. Labels are powerful things. Negative labels easily become something we believe about ourselves, and that belief can prompt action, limit achievement, and destroy destiny.

When we look around our nation, we see many men who have been told bad things about themselves in anger. They have been labelled. They then grow to believe the label and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we are honest, many of us are carrying labels that have been holding us back. We might not want to say it but it’s there. The good news is that God desires to change our labels if we will allow Him to. His power is bigger than our past and His truth is bigger than any current truth in your life.

This matter of negative labelling is the work of the enemy. He would love to put labels on us to keep us from reaching our highest potential. Satan doesn’t fight us for where we are now; he fights us for where we’re going. He knows God has amazing things in our future, so he’ll try to discourage, intimidate, and make us feel inferior. He knows that words are like seeds, if you dwell on them long enough, they will take root and become what’s said.

Some of our labels have been placed on us by others either deliberately or accidentally. Some were positive, but some were not. Sometimes it was a misspoken word in a heated conversation, or a name shouted in anger. Chances are that if you came up in the typical Jamaican home, you more than likely have been given many labels over the years. Culturally, we have that bad habit.

We tend to use negative labels in an attempt to bring about a positive action. Just like Jacob in the Bible, some of us have been tagged and labelled and no matter how hard we try we just can’t seem to shake it. What labels do you wear? Have you ever been the one to give the label, maybe in anger or innocently? Proverbs 18:21 NKJV tells us that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…”. It’s amazing to think that God would allow us to have this power over someone else’s life. The very words we speak can change someone’s destiny forever.

Negative labels affect us in many ways, they can:

1.Restrict our potential by keeping us confined to the negative label.

2.Are self-prophetic. If we believe we’re useless, our actions and thoughts will be that of a useless person. “For as he (a man) thinketh in his heart, so is he…” Proverbs 23:7 (KJV)

3.Produce frustration and unhappiness. Often, we’re unaware that our thoughts are the cause. If our mind is messed up it bears fruit in our life.

4.Can cause physical illnesses, such as migraines, nausea, anxiety attacks, and stomach aches.

5.Is a major contributor to depression and anxiety.

Even if you have owned a label that in many ways is true about you, it doesn’t mean that it must continue to be true forever. God can take what is and make it no longer true. He can and will give us a new God-centred view of ourselves through Jesus. Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT.