Labeled and Judged
We use labels for everything, including each other. Besides our names, we know and judge others in terms of everything we say, do and think. Some are good, some are bad and some are harmful. And sometimes we are completely mistaken in characterizing and labeling. We know we shouldn’t do it but judging the proverbial book by its cover is so much easier than taking the time to get to know someone for who they really are. Hasty judgements are often used to dehumanize people so we can (self) justifiably condemn them.
Unfortunately, God has also been the victim of bad labels and mischaracterization. He’s been described as detached, uncaring and aloof, among others. The problem with mislabeling God is that, based on what they hear, many people decide whether or not to believe in him.
One of the most egregious labels I’ve heard given to God is that of a child abuser. This terrible description has been made by those who think God is the one who punished his own son, sending him to be beaten and killed. This is patently untrue for three reasons: God the Father and God the Son are one (God didn’t punish himself); it was the plan from before time and space were created (it was always to be an act of love); and the Son laid down his life willingly.
Other labels are just as bad, leading people to not only misunderstand God, but to turn away and even despise him. What we say about God, how we think of him and how we tell others about him are all very important, both for those of us who know him and those who don’t yet know him. The better we all know him, the better we can express who he is and communicate him to others, for the furtherance of the gospel and for his glory.
Study by Tammy Tkach
First published on 6 September 2022, at www.gemsofgodsgrace.wordpress.com
About the writer:
Tammy Tkach is the Assistant Pastor of the Eugene, Oregon, USA congregation. She is a speaker and writer, and publishes a blog at www.gemsofgodsgrace.wordpress.com
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