I saw an article the other day all about a certain celebrity speaking out on behalf of the #MeToo movement and singing the praises of modern feminists. Before #MeToo, it was #BlackLivesMatter. And before hashtags became the way to start a social movement, it was gay rights, and civil rights and Women’s Lib. These causes have become labels that are like umbrellas over our identities. Looking for something to define us, we separate ourselves based on gender, color, age, political party, abusive experiences and favorite sins. But unfortunately, wearing the world’s labels will not make us feel better about anything. The truth is, if a woman passionately embraces modern feminism because of her experience as a victim of sexual abuse, it becomes the cornerstone of her identity. She thinks about it daily. Talks about it constantly. She can’t get away from that experience now; it literally defines her. What we think about ourselves and say to ourselves becomes what we believe about ourselves.
Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience…(Colossians 3:12, CSB)
Christians are not immune to this, either. Walk in to any church and you’ll see the same social patterns and cliques you saw in High School. Our natural state is sinful, so gossip and slander and bitter rejection happen in the church as well as in the world. People divide over everything: age, marital status, gender, work status, age of children and more. I remember earlier in my marriage being so hurt by other women my age in the church because they never included me in their plans, whether it was a Bible study or coffee date, simply because I didn’t have children and they did. Their rejection stung. Why would having or not having children be a divisive factor? Now that I have kids, I’ve experienced rejection by women in the next stage of life; their kids are grown, and they don’t want to talk about them anymore. It is a hurtful cycle that breaks my heart. Because regardless of how much I love my children or my husband, or how convinced I am that my role as a stay-at-home-mom is a charge from the Lord, those aren’t the labels that define me. There is only one label that is worth being the subject of my thoughts, conversations and subsequent beliefs about myself: I am chosen of God. The Almighty Creator chose me as His own and set me on a course of life that would glorify Him, causing all things to work to the good. I’m not basing my identity in my gender, race or life experiences. It doesn’t matter that I’ve been rejected, hurt, slandered or abused. The only label I am wearing is HIS.