Tuesday, May 15

Are you into reading labels?

I've been thinking about some random things lately, things like,

If something is in a clear container, and visible for all the world to see, does it really need a label? And if so, why?

What is the reason we label things - is it for organization, or for another reason entirely? Foodstuffs need labels so we can avoid HFCS and allergic reaction triggers, and plan the caloric content wisely. My bins in the garage need labels so that I can know easily which of the indentical containers holds the extra towels (needed) and which holds the maternity clothes (not needed). Things that are packaged in clear containers need labels sometimes - sweet pickles and dill often look similar, as do sweetened and unsweetened applesauce. Other times, not so much. I put Aaron's diapers in clear ziploc bags so they don't get lost in the diaper bag. I don't feel the need to label those "diapers" because it is obvious that the bag contains diapers.

However, it is true that labels can be very helpful. Which makes me think - do I label people, churches, and bins of stuff all in the same way?

When we choose a label for something, it is important to choose terms that are clearly defined. If I made up a word for the contents, that would be no good. No one would understand, and the label would be useless.

Similarly, if I labeled a container with a word that had several meanings, that would not be helpful either. People would be opening the container with different expectations, and would experience different levels of disappointment depending on those expectations.

More importantly, if someone were to label me, what would my label say? Would it have a toxicity warning? Would it say, "CAUTION - CONTENTS EXPLOSIVE" or something else that would present danger? Here's what I'd want it to say -

Human, Jennifer Muth, created by God for His Glory. Because of His Grace, and through the power of His Spirit, contains: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, and Self Control. This creation is valued for a gentle spirit, healing words, and kindness to all. Clearly reflects the qualities of the Creator.


Alicia said...

Interesting thoughts, Jenny. I am a label reader and I confess, I often label others in a quick judgmental way. I'm with you in praying for the fruits of the spirit to be manifest in me for the world to see. I struggle doing that daily - only God's grace can help us get there!

dan and cheryl forbes said...

Good thoughts! I have been trying to eliminate labels for people when they are not useful--like "what race is that person"? The question serves no purpose. By the way, what question does irradiated coffee answer?? Dad

Josh & Bekah said...

Jenny, Thanks for the reminder and the direction towards God. I needed to read that tonight.

jeileenbaylor said...

You have such interesting thoughts! It cracks me up :o) But on a more serious note, thanks for the good reminder!

ruth said...

Thanks for making me stop and think. Good post! :)