More Than the Label You Wear
A line of women stood waiting in white prison garbs, garbs soon to be stamped with an identification number, a six-digit label of shame. Downcast eyes, hopelessness, and deadened stares marked most of their faces. Watching them, I wondered what it would feel like to be waiting in that line.
What if my identity was nothing more than six digits?
What if I wore a visible label of shame?
I’m not so different. The specter of shame haunts every category of life.
“Does the Department of Corrections use those numbers as your identity?” I asked the inmate beside me.
She nodded a puzzled “yes.”
I smiled and assured her, “Those six numbers are not your true identity.”
Her tears brimmed as I explained that God created her for more, that those numbers, her past failures, and the cruel names she hears ringing in her head do not define her.
Demeaning labels don’t define you either.
Your true identity is God’s image-bearer.
You are created in the image of the One who is beauty and truth. You were planned by Him to display His wonder. Admittedly, sin marred us, but at the cross Christ removed our sin—and our shame—and placed it on Himself. Through the Spirit He clothes us with His very self. He gives us a new identity.
In Christ, you are:
A beautiful trophy of His grace (Ephesians 1:4–8)
Forgiven (Ephesians 1:7)
God’s valued possession (Ephesians 1:14)
Greatly loved (Ephesians 2:4)
Jesus Christ is the shame-lifter and identity re-definer.
If you are in Christ, your past does not define you; you have a new identity. Are you labeled by shame, or has your identity been redefined by Christ?