From the inception of the human race, the Biblical story of creation paints the image of God giving the man the task of giving names to everything. Labelling is in our DNA for we need to label to create awareness and achieve understanding. Labels provide definition and meaning and purpose is the central crave of the human race. Everything in life was made for a purpose. We spend our whole lives searching and fulfilling our purpose that it encompasses our daily activities.
Therefore the aim of this final part of the labelling series is to tie up any loose ends, by using the main points expressed in the previous articles. The labelling of women and children is a primary focus in many academic studies. That is not to neglect the matter of the labelling of men. For men endure many stereotypes, through the medium of labelling. Women have been labelled from the inception of time as man noted that she was from him. Woman was created from man initially as God performed the first surgery. God was the anaesthesiologist as He put the man to sleep during this procedure. Man was created from the dust and woman was created from the rib of the man. In fact the origins of the word woman gives the impression of a man with a womb. The initial saying could have been “womb-man” which converted to “woman” over time.
Fast track to the present day, where the female stereotype permeates all media sources. Women are expected to live up to that ideal. A decision which they choose to wrestle with in their lives. Children are related to woman. It is through woman that children are formed, birthed and nurtured. Children are labelled from the knowledge of their existence. At each stage of a child’s life he or she is categorised according to gender, health and possibilities. Again there is a wealth of literature on the labelling of children as these different labels create awareness of learning and developmental irregularities.
Yet the question remains: to what extent should we let labels define us? If we do not meet those ideals imposed on us through these labels does it make us any less of a person. An old adage says: “To thine own self be true.” Labels should create an awareness yet it should not be a complete definition. As we embrace the ingrained feature of labelling, there should be a balance as we use those labels in a positive way. If the case is extreme and this label causes great consternation do away with it. Yet we must strive to learn about this circumstance surrounding that label in a quest to be honest and true to ourselves. For once we do that we can be a great influence to ourselves and others. Through this influence we can magnify the glory of God and truly achieve our unique purpose in this lifetime.
As I come to the end of this challenge, I would like to express a few thoughts. This is the end result of that soul searching talk with my mother. Each day I would search the Internet for the corresponding Scriptures. It felt as if I drew closer to God as he guided me along this journey. The collaborative relationship between God and I revealed so much about my personality. I wonder with hope as I look forward to future challenges in life with God by my side.
So the below slideshow comprises of the first verses of the final 30 Psalms in the Bible; Psalm 121 to 150. These petitions to God are the blue prints which reveal how to live in the ups and downs of life. These first verses to God are excellent prayer starters which can be used at anytime. Whether you are having a mountain top experience or a down in the valley experience, life goes on. Tenacity is revealed through your responses to life’s circumstances.
Did you know that the Psalms reflect the themes of the first five books of the Bible?
This journey culminates in the final part where we compile all of the experiences related to this challenge and look to the future with hope.
This challenge is proving to be even more adventurous.
In this journey of discovery, these first verses of the Psalms have peaked my interest. So I find myself asking questions. Questions like why is the psalmist writing in this mood? What could have triggered this emotion in his life? How is he using his relationship with God to become even more mature in his faith?
The main writer of the Psalms is King David and he was known as a man after God’s own heart. David messed up spectacularly at times. Yet every time he fell down, he used that opportunity to pray to God and in that position he rose even more spectacularly than his fall. Through his setbacks, his dependence on God increased and his love for God endured through the generations.
We can learn from the main writer and emulate his attitude in our lives. These Psalms teach us that no matter how awful the circumstance may seem, we must rest on God’s love. Why? Because God is love.
There is a four letter word which some of us use every day.
When we are challenged with difficult situations in life, we sometimes use this word in our everyday dealings. Yet this word is not popular in our vernacular. When asked about the meaning of this word persons look back with a quizzical gaze as their response. This word is tact. To seek a further resolution to that quizzical gaze, the definition of tact is a keen sense of what to do or say in order to maintain good relations with others or avoid offense. You tell the truth kindly. Tact can additionally defined through the following acrostic:
T – Thoughtful
A – Appropriate
C – Considerate
T – Tasteful
Tact is conveyed in the Bible through the following verses. Proverbs 15: 1 is the seminal verse on tact, where we are encouraged to respond with gentleness. Similarly in the book of Proverbs, chapter 25, verse 15 exemplifies tact as it relates to those in authority.
In order to successfully exercise tact one must adopt the attitude described in 1 Corinthians 9:19. This more referred to in this verse, is gained may not be only by material gains but also lasting relationships which are worth more than tangible entities. Ephesians 4:15 reveals a supplementary understanding of the rewards of tact. By using tact we will become more mature and grow well into personal and spiritual development.
Our society teaches us to respond insult for insult. Our society teaches us that we do not have to stand for unfair treatment. Responding to insults by giving a blessing in return is perceived as a strange response by the world. Nonetheless this is a reflection of a mature and spiritually stable person. For much more is achieved through tact. One does not have to, forgive the cliché, act like a bull in a China shop, in order to acquire what is considered to be fair treatment. Yet through the art of gentle persuasion and listening, our energies will be transformed from the never ending debate of who is at fault and to the quest for a necessary remedy. For tact is about addressing the issue, while still maintaining good relations to channel kindness, gentleness, peace and overall love.