Living Changed: In the New Year

Devotional

New Year, New Labels


Every year, we’re inundated with the latest get-fit-quick fads and tips to become a “new you” in the New Year. It can be exhausting trying to reinvent ourselves every January to keep up with who the world thinks we should be. Our striving and struggling rarely results in acceptance or fulfillment. Instead, people assign new labels to us that only make us question our identity more.


No one likes to be labeled. That’s because labels are often overgeneralized, restrictive, and inaccurate. They come with a set of assumptions, which can be very negative, and they frequently highlight our worst qualities or biggest mistakes. Labels don’t leave room for differences, growth, or redemption. 


We all wear labels, whether we buy into the labels that others have put on us or we put them on ourselves. All too often, we allow those labels to limit us and tell us we’re just not enough. Just. We add this tiny, yet significant word when we’re describing ourselves and allow the labels to disqualify us. You’ve probably heard countless people say it, maybe you’ve even said it yourself. “I’m just a high school student” or “I’m just an addict.” 


The truth is, you are not your age, your employment status, your diagnosis, your marital status, your struggle, or your past. Those labels may be a descriptor of your situation, your season, or your trial, but your true identity is in who God says you are and nothing else.


You are beautiful, capable, and worthy. You are made new in Christ. You were not given a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind. You are more than a conqueror in Christ who gives you strength. You were created on purpose for a purpose. You are loved. You are chosen. You are enough.


Think about the labels you’ve taken on over the last year and over your lifetime. How many do you wear that are contrary to what God says about you in the Bible? Identify the areas of your life that make you feel shameful, insecure, or fearful that someone may find out. Ask God to show you what labels are weighing you down and ask Him to help you shed them. Allow God to help you align your identity with biblical truth so you can live this year, first and foremost, as a child of God.