In a world that doesn’t like to think too deeply…it’s easy to get caught up in the trap of defining people by labels. It’s easy…because I’ve got them pegged. I don’t have to look beneath the surface to know them better, to understand them or their pain…or what led them to where they are today…and why they made the choices they did.

Instead it’s easy and comfortable to see them only by their labels. The liar, adulterer, thief, alcoholic, homosexual, druggy, tramp, dummy…and of course who can forget the all around generic label…looser.

Labels…distance me from the sinner that I find so disagreeable. While I’m not perfect…at least I’m not like… Take your pick.

But when I start seeing the person behind the sin…I see more of the human being and less of the sin. I see the consequences of living in a sinful world. A world filled with hurting and damaged people…which only leads to more brokenness.

Labels…build walls and keep people at an arms distance. Labels make me think I’m better than the next guy. But when I see a person and not the sin…it allows me to care…to reach out with the love of Christ and embrace them.

Didn’t Jesus do just that? He reached out to the least of these? He dared to embrace and touch the leper, the prostitute, the tax collector. Those considered unclean or sinners were touched by the holy and righteous Son of God.

Doesn’t He call me to do the same?

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