Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What's with all the labels?!

Please let me preface this by saying that I am NOT a Doctor, or a nurse, or a psychologist. I am a Mom, and a wife, and a friend. These are just thoughts that have been circling in my head and I need to get them out.

I know and appreciate that God has made us all unique. Each of us comes with our own personality and foibles. I understand that. I'm sure there have been many a day when my friends and family wondered what was wrong with me. 

But please, let's ditch the labels.

Let's appreciate the people in our lives for who they are.

Here is an example: the other day I saw a picture on my Facebook feed that said something like "10 pictures that will bring out your OCD."

There are people in this world who struggle with OCD. Real people with real challenges. I think we belittle them when we off-handly say "Oh she's a little OCD" or "That's just the OCD in my personality." The pictures on Facebook are just of one or two things mis-aligned, like a pencil turned the opposite way. That's NOT OCD. That might be your personal neatness tendency coming out, but it's not OCD.

Here is the definition of OCD from WebMDObsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a type of anxiety disorder, is a potentially disabling illness that traps people in endless cycles of repetitive thoughts and behaviors. People with OCD are plagued by recurring and distressing thoughts, fears, or images (obsessions) they cannot control. The anxiety (nervousness) produced by these thoughts leads to an urgent need to perform certain rituals or routines (compulsions). The compulsive rituals are performed in an attempt to prevent the obsessive thoughts or make them go away.

This is not a bunch of mis-matched pencils, or a mistake in the pattern of your bathroom tile-work. OCD is scary, and often life-debilitating.

Please do me a favor, stop using this label. If you're upset by things being out of line, call yourself a perfectionist if you must, but stop 'labeling' yourself OCD.

I think at times we use labels that don't really apply to us as an excuse to sin.

That's right - sin.

We are ALL sinners in need of a Savior- Jesus.

If you REALLY TRULY have a disorder like OCD, call it what it is. (And please, let me know, I would be privileged to pray for you!) 

If you're just looking for an excuse to sin, whether in your own behavior or your judgement of other people, call your sin, sin, and confess it.

I sin. I don't want to. I want to live a Godly life. As Paul wrote in Romans 7, 'the good I want to do is not what I do.' Yet, I know that when I draw near to God, He comforts me, He directs me, He heals me.

I have friends with children with AD/HD. They struggle mightily some days because their children are just not wired like everyone else. This shows me the effects of the Curse. I pray for those sweet families & their children. Each day can be a roller-coaster.

Yet, I see them cringe just a little when someone excuses a child's lack of self-control as "he's just a little ADD" or sorry, "she's got some ADHD." Some children REALLY do have this disorder. I am in NO WAY saying anything against calling it what it is. I'm trying to get us ALL to realize the power our words have, and our actions. If you or your child are lacking in self-control - ask God for help. Then take the help He gives and apply it!

Our daughter is not AD/HD. But, she is impulsive. We have worked with her for years on self-control. She is doing much better. I can see the most improvement in her self-control when I have been exercising self-control in my own life.

Ever hear the expression "more is caught than taught."? Our children learn from us. Daily, hourly, minute by minute. Are you modeling a life that puts others first? A life that loves and protects? A life that does NOT try to be like everyone else, but focuses on the unique individual God has made you?

When we, as parents, choose to love, honor, and protect those around us... then we'll drop the labels. When we call sin, sin, when we repent of our own foolishness, or hard hearts, God can work miracles through us. He can heal us. He can grow us into His children. When our words speak love instead of labels, they change the world.

Speak love.

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