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Smart. Loner. Rebel. Lazy. Athlete. Skinny. Fat. Goth. Nerd. Ghetto. Preppy.  At one time or another, we have all been labeled with a name chosen for us. Some names are better than others, but each label presents the challenge of stopping people from seeing the real you.

The real you is what you think and feel on the inside.  The real you is who you are when no one is around to impress.  The real you is probably the one that not many people know. But God knows.

O Eternal One, You have explored my heart and know exactly who I am; You even know the small details like when I take a seat and when I stand up again. Even when I am far away, You know what I’m thinking.  You observe my wanderings and my sleeping, my waking and my dreaming, and You know everything I do in more detail than even I know. You know what I’m going to say long before I say it. It is true, Eternal One, that You know everything and everyone. You have surrounded me on every side, behind me and before me, and You have placed Your hand gently on my shoulder. It is the most amazing feeling to know how deeply You know me, inside and out; the realization of it is so great that I cannot comprehend it.

Psalm 139:1-6

Why do we hide behind the labels? Sometime it’s easier to let ourselves be labeled because then we don’t have to explain our choices. We can hide comfortably behind a label. Nerds study.  Athletes work out.  Skinny people don’t eat and fat people eat too much. Rebels like to be different.

A label I’ve always gone by is “Independent.” But what I learned about myself recently is the reason why I’m always doing things by myself. I’m so used to taking care of myself that I am constantly thinking through what I need and don’t want other people to get in the way. I don’t know how to let myself be taken care of. So instead, I am labeled “Independent,” and I don’t get the help I am too afraid to ask for.

Do you like how people see you? How do you want people to see you? A better question: how do you want to be valued? Your value comes when people get to know the real you, when others know what you’re thinking and feeling and still accept you. The desire to be known is what people want most because it leads to close relationships and being loved. Recently I had a conversation with a friend and shared what I learned about myself and I was able to experience acceptance from them and the relief of knowing that I don’t need to have all of the answers.

Every man longs for love that never fails.   It is better to be poor than to be a liar.

Proverbs 19:22

Have a conversation with someone today and share with them what you are thinking and feeling.  Let go of the label.  Take hold of the real you.  Experience the love.



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