Towards the end of Mark chapter 3 Jesus is called crazy by his family and demon possessed by His adversaries. It was probably more hurtful to be called crazy by his family than possessed by the Pharisees. And who were these “kinsman” who came to take him away? Certainly Mary and his brothers (31), but were there more? Cousins, uncles, aunts? It’s very painful to be misunderstood or mislabeled, especially by those closest to you.
We pastors can misunderstand and mislabel people in our church, especially those who make our jobs more difficult or unenjoyable. We can’t read people’s minds but we act like we can. We think we know who they are and what’s going on inside of them… but seldom is this true. We judge with unrighteous judgment. We label them and labels have a tendency to stick.
Who have I mislabeled, misunderstood? Who have I given a title, a category to that is wrong or unfair? Like a wall lined with cubbyholes, each one with a label, each one with people inside placed there by me. The label might read, liar, immature, stupid, proud, pain in the butt, or simply…not like me. These are all labels.
Maybe we could save ourselves some time and put up one big cubbyhole. The label over which would read: Those I am better than.
Is there anyone you have labeled, categorized, cubby-holed? Be careful.