The ONE THING for today

Be careful with those Christmas labels

Note: This blog was originally posted on December 24, 2013

  • Matthew 1:23 (NKJV) “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

This Christmas I experienced a new “Papa” event—Sonja and I taking our grandchildren out for an evening ride to view Christmas lights.christmas-lights-110661300062462IPd

Last night it was Trinitee and Rory’s turn.  Everything was going great at first.  There was not an arrangement of lights too small to not be wooed and wowed—changing the saying a little: There was no light left unturned.

But then something sad happened.  One of the communities we visited was the Stafford Park community in Rock Hill (see below).  Turns out the Stafford Park community awards prizes for the best decorated yards and in our drive through the community we happened upon the house that received “Second Place.”

From that moment, everything changed.  The wooing and wowing stopped.  When Sonja or I would point out a beautiful yard or sight the response would be, “Yeah, but it’s not ‘First Place.’” Or, “Yeah, but I want to see ‘First Place.’”  With that one “Second Place” label the wonder was gone.  Instead, the trip turned into a wandering to find “First Place.”

Labels are powerful things.  I wonder how many wonderful sights we have missed because we wrote them off as ordinary and unimportant.   Wonder how many friends we’ve lost because we labeled someone wrong.

It is so easy to label people.  Often quite subconsciously, we quickly label someone “loser” or “winner” or “good” or “bad” and treat them accordingly.

Forgetting that the essence of our Christian faith is serving, we label a task unworthy of us and thus lose a huge blessing.

Ungratefully we label food not worth eating forgetting the starving masses that would consider the food we pushed aside a feast fit for a king.

On the other hand, we can label a poor, abandoned, and orphaned puppy “loveable” and take it home with us and it lives up to our label bringing us years of joy.

I’ve seen people label a “hopeless” situation as an opportunity for God to do something great and—He does!

I’m so thankful Jesus looked at lost, unworthy, and doomed you and me and labeled us worth leaving Heaven for…eventually worth dying for.

Yes, labels are powerful things; be careful what you write on those Christmas labels!

RE: Stafford Park community—I give kudos to this community and thank you for making Christmas brighter and more enjoyable for so many of us—we Kemps solved the “label” issue and gave you all “First Place!”

I was particularly blessed by the many homes that made it clear that the reason for the season was Jesus Christ.  There’s definitely a lot of “salt and light” in the Stafford Park community.

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