Redefined With Arden Bevere

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading


Labels & Callings  

From the moment we are born, the words spoken over us begin to mold our identity, for better or for worse. Relatives, teachers, and peers comment on our appearance, our character, and our personality. As we grow, these words begin to build an image of who we are, or more accurately, who we think we are or should be. 

The reality that words have the power to identify and shape us first struck me while I was researching more effective ways to reach people in my generation. As I brainstormed, I began to realize that the first step to reach and serve my peers was to gain a better understanding of how they see themselves. 

So, I posted this question on my Facebook page: If you could describe the young adult generation today in one word, what would it be? The majority of the answers that came in were: Lost. Unhappy. Searching. Hungry. Distracted. Lazy. Broken. Lacking. Entitled. Disillusioned

It broke my heart to see that many of the responses were from my peers. These words expressed what they believed to be true about themselves—which was so much less than what they are called to be! As I read through the comments, I remembered some passages in the Bible that declare the opposite of the negative words people had written. 

For example, 1 Peter 2:9 uses words like chosen, royal, and holy to describe who we are. Note what this verse does not say—that we are lost, lazy, entitled, or broken. In other words, we are called to fulfill God’s plans and live up to His expectations, not the world’s.  

The reality about labels is that they’re limiting. They speak to who we are now, limiting us to what has already happened. That is the tendency of the world and society around us—to define ourselves based on our past or present. A calling, on the other hand, speaks to the future, to whom God has created us to be and what He plans for us to do. It goes beyond the trauma or pain we have been through, the mistakes we have committed, and the circumstances we are in right now. 

Here’s the bottom line: Our calling trumps labels every time. Labels shrink our world; callings enlarge our world. Labels disqualify and limit us; callings qualify and release us. Labels are temporary; callings are eternal.