I Can’t Handle This... Label
No matter if they were hurtful (“good-for-nothing”) or exaggerated (“Hey, Princess!”), the labels attributed to us can affect our lives. We live up to them. We see ourselves as our worst critics see us, or we become entitled—just as doting adults taught us to be. The way to break free of labels and live up to God’s best for us is to look to Him for our worth. What does He say about you? Once you know, you can be confident in that identity.
What you will need: A Bible or your Bible app, a notebook, pen, and highlighter. The verses highlighted below are linked so that you can easily access them during your study time.
Leader: This section is designed to get discussions started, examine God’s truth, and apply it to our week. Life Group leaders should not assume everyone in their group is a Christ follower. Because they are taking part in a Life Group, they must have some openness to knowing more, exploring. Pray for the Holy Spirit to work and let Him lead you as well.
1. What were you “labeled” as a child? A tomboy, a dreamer, shy, etc.? What did you think of yourself in that same time period?
2. Move On. Read 1 Samuel 17:28-30. Why was Eliab so easily angered by David? Where do you act the “Eliab” to someone? How was David’s response the right one? How do you handle it when someone criticizes you unfairly? How could Proverbs 26:4 and 19:11 guide you in similar circumstances? The real question is, “What does God think of me?”
3. Destroy labels with actions, not words. Read 1 Samuel 16:12-13 and 17:33-36. What happened the first time we read about David in the Scriptures? What do we know and what can we infer happened over the next few years? What do you feel was David’s attitude between these two passages? How does 1 Samuel 17:12-15, 17-18 prove or disprove your suppositions? David used his past actions to make his case to Saul. How can you use your actions to destroy labels?
4. God’s label is what matters. Read 1 Samuel 17:43-52. When up against one of the biggest battles in his young life, what was David told? Have you ever experienced such derision and condescension as you prepared to take on a big mission? Where does David’s complete confidence come from? How can you learn this type of ‘God-confidence’? Do you care more about others’ opinions or what God thinks of you?
5. Action Step: Read 1 Samuel 16:7. This message is for us: to not accept the labels of others, but of God. Where have you accepted labels that you need to throw off and move on from? It also reminds us not to label others as anything other than “child of God.” Where have you applied labels you need to repent of, and maybe even ask forgiveness? With whom have you been less than encouraging, empowering, and uplifting?
6. There are so many hurtful labels: Airhead, Failure, Unworthy, Insignificant, Unqualified, Shy, Ditz, Dirty, Clumsy, Flighty, Sneaky, Lazy. And there are so many more that cannot even be written, they are so foul and hurtful. No matter what you have been told or called, God has some labels for you! Check out each passage below and discover God’s label for you. Memorize any that particularly speaks to your heart.
God calls you _________________. (Colossians 3:12)
He calls you _________________. (Ephesians 1:4)
He calls you _________________. (John 1:12)
He calls you _________________. (Titus 2:14)
He calls you _________________. (Ephesians 2:4-5)
He calls you _________________. (Ephesians 2:10)
He calls you _________________. (Romans 8:17)
He calls you _________________. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
He calls you _________________. (John 15:15)
He calls you _________________. (Romans 3:24)
He calls you _________________. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
He calls you _________________. (Colossians 3:13)
He calls you _________________. (Galatians 5:1)