When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, ‘Hear and understand: Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.’

Matthew 15:10-11 NKJV


A devotion for July 2nd through the 8th


Labels are everywhere and help us out with information.  There are labels on the products we buy and things we use every day that help us know what it is for, what the size is, how to care for it, and how to use it.  There are many types of labels, all with information that we use to make decisions from moment to moment.  They really are important and helpful.  Sometimes they even affect how we behave.

What we don’t often realize is there are labels we can’t see.  These labels are on people.  We don’t see the labels that tell us things like “going through a divorce”, “lost my job”, “dealing with mental illness”, “diagnosed with cancer”, “lost my spouse”, and a host of others that are out there.  These are the labels we don’t see and yet any of them, or maybe several, could be on anyone we see as we go through our day. 

We see people driving terribly, we see people acting “weird”, we see people bump into others and quickly move on.  Often our first reaction is to be upset or even angry.  We get impatient and just want to go on with our day.  What if we could see all the labels everyone around us has?  Would it affect how we treat others?  Would we be more tolerant and patient?  More understanding?

Jesus treated all with kindness and love, no matter what they were going through, no matter their position.  Jesus saw the person.  Jesus knew the hurt and pain.  Jesus knew each person was dealing with something.  He reached out with kindness.

Take the time to look at others through Jesus’ eyes.  Maybe then we will see that everyone out there has a label.  Everyone out there is dealing with something.  Maybe then we will reach out like Jesus, with love.

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