Thought for the Week – 15.8.19

Jeanette Sheldrick blows the trumpet for Oban Salvation Army.

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When ‘to label or not to label’? Decluttering is a ‘buzz’ word. Living in a tidy ordered world will make us all happier, healthier wiser.  Honestly, when I get things tidy, labelled and inside the appropriate box, I do feel calmer and there is no real danger in doing this with ‘things’.  Mostly it doesn’t damage them to be put in the appropriate box and labelled.

However what about with us as people?  Does it help or does it not?

The name David means beloved.  A being, an individual who is present in the moment and who is loved, cared for accepted for who they really are.  If we look in the Old testament the Character David could be labelled many things, including child molester, king, polygamous, polyamorus, cheat, adulterer,  murderer, madman, terrorist, traitor, exhibitionist. Some of these would make excellent headlines for today’s tabloids.  In the New Testament, he is known as “a man after God’s own heart” a prophet, speaker of truth, a fore father of the awaited Saviour of the people of God.

Somehow, David is an example of someone who didn’t allow a label to stick after it had served its purpose.  Sometimes those labels help – they give us a handle on how to put safeguards in place, to provide a healthy space for community.  However if a label starts defining and controlling a person’s behaviour and stopping them from moving forward as an individual, is that not when the label that is no longer serving a positive purpose should be stripped off?  Could taking the label off empower them, as a fundamental human being, to turn the label around to bring their own contribution to the community we live in?

Jeanette Sheldrick,

Salvation Army.