Have you ever felt that there is nothing you can do to become all that you believe you should be? That you will never accomplish anything of worth? Have you ever believed that there is nothing you can say or do that will ever make a difference? Have you ever known the burden of expectation that seems out of reach? Join the club. If you are human, then at some point in your life you have experienced rejection, discouragement, despair, and pain. At some point you have felt that you were just not good enough. “As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” If I believe I am worthless, I feel worthless. Whether I realize it or not, I “do unto others” what has been done unto me. If I have been labeled as never quite being good enough, then I pass that negativism along in my expectations of those I love. If I see myself as being beyond hope, then I see others in the same light.
Into this seemingly endless cycle of human emotion, expectation, and despair at never quite being good enough, God attempts to break into our generational bondage. He waits to speak life to all that we have suffered in our past, life to our present, and life to our future. He wants who I am to be found in Him alone. He wishes for us to realize that unlike what expectations we may have felt from others, whether real or imagined, His expectation is thoroughly attainable. He sees the promise in my life where another might not see it, and, if I truly listen to Him and obey His instruction, then I will find release from my human failures. I will discover who I really am. In His love, I can break that bondage of despair and frustration. I can do more than just hope one day that I can become free of all that has defined who I am, I can choose to really be free. I will not be labeled anymore.
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child” (1 Corinthians 13:11a). Just like me, you, too, were once a child, and all those who loved you watched you struggle to crawl or learn to walk. They watched every move you made, expecting to see miraculous change. They rejoiced over you when you achieved a new accomplishment. They were sad when you failed. But you were just a little one wanting to me loved for who you were, and wanting to feel loving and accepting arms. You didn't want to be watched for what you might become. You wanted to loved for who you were at that moment. God loves you right in your moment, and He sees you crying out to be loved and not to be labeled. When you accept His love, the bondage is broken, and you are able to not only know freedom, but to extend freedom in your expectation of others.
“Don't label me! Just love me!” is the cry of the human heart. I pray that God gives each one of us His eyes to see the potential not only in ourselves, but in others. I pray we learn to speak life to each heart instead of death. To speak blessing instead of failure. To speak joy instead of despair. To speak life full of joy and healing. To see promise where we have seen failure. To believe in what cannot be seen, and to know that one day it will be true.