5 Ways To Replace Our Negative Labels For Positive Ones


What really matters is how God sees me. He isn’t concerned with labels; he is concerned about the state of man’s soul.

Billy Graham

Loser.  Waste.  Creep.  Lunatic.

Fat.  Chunky.  Ugly.  Gross.

Stupid.  Dumb.  Nerd.  Geek.

Pathetic.  Lame.  Dork.  Weird.

Slow.  Clumsy.  Awful.  Lazy.

Unwanted.  Unloved.  Worthless.


What label do you wear?  Are you letting a negative label define you?

Our family went to the local pool Sunday afternoon to relax and enjoy each others company.  The pool was crowded.  Some kids were running around.  Some kids were screaming.  Some adults were sitting under their umbrellas.  And some adults were sitting out in the sun in their best poolside attire.

I couldn’t help doing a little people watching while we were sitting in our chairs under our umbrella.

I’m especially curious when I see people who have tattoos, and the pool is a great place to observe the various ink designs that permanently cover the epidermis of the sunbathers.

At one point, I noticed a man walking near us who had tattoos across his shoulders and down his arms.  And I couldn’t help but notice the tattoo across the man’s belly.  The tattoo was three letters which were about five inches tall.  Here were the letters:


I don’t know what this man was thinking.  It seems he was embracing a label he was given sometime in his life.  Someone called him “FAT” and it stuck.

I wonder if he likes being fat.  I wonder if he likes this label.  Or I wonder if he has chosen to simply accept the label.

If we’re honest, I think we have all struggled with negative labels.  Some of our negative labels have been thrust on us by inconsiderate parents, peers, and other people.  And some of the negative labels are the result of unreasonable self talk.

When we accept these labels, we are doing ourselves a huge disservice.  We are more than these negative labels.  We are God’s children, and He loves us.  It’s time we learn to replace the negative labels with labels more representative of who we are and who we were meant to be.

Try these labels on for size:

Beautiful.  Winner.  Smart.  Loved.

Desired.  Blessed.  Wonderful.  Worthwhile.

Friend.  Funny.  Fantastic.  Splendid.

Special.  Precious.  Unique.  Redeemed.

Child of the King.

If we want to shed the negative labels that have crept into our lives, we have to be intentional.  Here are some tips for getting rid of the labels in our lives that tear us down:

5 Ways To Replace Our Negative Labels For Positive Ones

  1. Remove the negative influences in your life.  Who or what is feeding your mind with lies?  Get rid of the people or things that are leading you to believe you aren’t good enough.  In some cases, this may mean the end of relationships.  In other cases, you may need to stop watching certain television shows or reading certain material.  Shed the negative.
  2. Feed your life with positive influences.  Connect with people who will build you up.  Fill your mind with truth.  Focus on the positive.
  3. Put the past in the past, and recognize the gift of today.  We all have junk in our trunk.  We have baggage that will weigh us down if we let it.  Let today be a new day.  When you woke up this morning, you were given a fresh start.  Make the most of a chance to begin again.
  4. Look in the mirror with corrective lenses.  When I was a young kid, I had to wear corrective glasses to overcome my vision problems.  Now I have to wear them again to help me read.  Without my glasses, my vision is distorted.  I’m not seeing the appropriate representation of what is in front of me.  Sometimes our self-image becomes distorted.  We need to learn to look at ourselves with new eyes.
  5. Let God label you.  If you read the Bible, there is an overarching theme of grace, mercy, and love.  God loves you, and He did not make you to carry around the weight of negative labels.  The next time you feel the negative labels creeping in, read Psalm 139.  It’s all about you!

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  Psalm 139:14

What labels are you carrying?  How have you replaced your negative labels for positive ones?  Share your responses in the comments and join the conversation.