Monday, November 17, 2014

Labels


Back in 2001 while in an English Comp class I wrote an essay about "labels" and how quick we are to judge one another and then place a label on each other based on our judgement or the judgement of others.

I chose the topic of "labels" because my entire life I had been labeled and many of the labels that were used to identify me were not accurate and quite hurtful.

Today I find that there are many who still continue to "label."  

I recently found myself in a situation where a person I had never met or visited with had labeled me and judged me according to the labels heard to describe me. I was totally shocked and speechless. This person had no interest in getting to me know me.
As I sat and listened to the labels being spouted of I found myself thinking about each label and how they were half truths.

I found myself feeling sad that the people spoken with had no idea who I was.
To them I was this "label."
After the one sided conversation ended I found myself deeply hurt that a total stranger would judge me off half true labels.
As I started to sink into my little pity party I found myself thinking of another person who had been labeled.
This person was the Divine Son of the most high God and all during his brief ministry He was labeled, "Is this not He the son of Mary and Joseph?"  "Is this not the Carpenters son?" "Is He not a Nazarene?"

Those who were labeling had no desire to hear His great teachings, or get to know Him.
They just wanted to stop His teaching.

I was visiting with a friend and was saddened to see that because of the labels placed upon her she was stagnant.  She like so many others started believing the labels that had been placed upon her.
Not even realizing that the labels were either false or filled with half truths.

People are constantly growing and changing one cannot honestly slap a label on someone and think, "well there it is."

Another thought that ran through my mind as I was being judged, "Do you have any idea the situation that was occurring when that label was created?  Alas, no."                

As I was looking for talks to help uplift and edify and possibly heal those wounded by unfounded labels, I cam across this short teaching about judging.
I love how the author refers one to "judge the situation and not the person."

That is the one pearl of wisdom that I am taking away from my experience of "being judged."
May we not be so quick to judge and slap a label on our friends of whom we don't understand, without first looking at their situation and getting to know them.

 I'm now on a healing journey and have decided to let go of all the labels that I have been labeled with through the years; because for the first time, I have seen them as they really are, half truths to stop one from growing and developing.

May all who have been wrongfully labeled also start that journey of healing.



Judging Others


Judgment is an important use of our agency and requires great care, especially when we make judgments about other people. All our judgments must be guided by righteous standards. Only God, who knows each individual's heart, can make final judgments of individuals.

Additional Information

Sometimes people feel that it is wrong to judge others in any way. While it is true that we should not condemn others or judge them unrighteously, we will need to make judgments of ideas, situations, and people throughout our lives. The Lord has given many commandments that we cannot keep without making judgments. For example, He has said: “Beware of false prophets. . . . Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:15-16) and “Go ye out from among the wicked” (D&C 38:42). We need to make judgments of people in many of our important decisions, such as choosing friends, voting for government leaders, and choosing a spouse.
The Lord gave a warning to guide us in our judgment of others: “With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother: Let me pull the mote out of thine eye—and behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother's eye” (3 Nephi 14:2-5).
In this scripture passage the Lord teaches that a fault we see in another is often like a tiny speck in that person's eye, compared to our own faults, which are like an enormous beam in our eyes. Sometimes we focus on others' faults when we should instead be working to improve ourselves.
Our righteous judgments about others can provide needed guidance for them and, in some cases, protection for us and our families. We should approach any such judgment with care and compassion. As much as we can, we should judge people's situations rather than judging the people themselves. Whenever possible, we should refrain from making judgments until we have an adequate knowledge of the facts. And we should always be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, who can guide our decisions. Alma's counsel to his son Corianton is a helpful reminder: “See that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually” (Alma 41:14).


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