Actually, that’s not strictly true. The milk wasn’t sour at all. But that’s the point.
I think I’d better explain …
Last week, I had an unopened carton of milk in my fridge. By the time I got round to opening it, it was the date that the label said the milk would go off.
I meant to pop off to the shops and get some more but I didn’t get round to it so I figured I’d give the out of date stuff a try.
Gave it a little sniff, smelt fine. A little sip, still just regular milk. So I carried on with making my latte as normal.
Four days later and the milk was almost gone and still, it hadn’t gone sour. Four days after the label told me it was past it’s ‘best before’ date.
And then this thought popped in my head …
How easy is it to act or treat people in a certain way, because of their label?
It’s one of the reasons I can not stand labels. Labels have started wars, ruined families, destroyed careers. People aren’t labels, they’re individuals with their own unique take on life.
But sometimes we can’t help ourselves and, even if we like to think of ourselves as open and kind and loving, we get sucked into the whole label trap. (Yes, yet again I’m writing to myself here!)
What would your conversations today sound like if each person was treated as an individual, with their own dreams and hopes and things that scare them?
What would this world look like if we could really ditch the labels?
And even as I write that, I can feel myself getting all too easily sucked into the ‘well at least I’m not as judgemental as x’ but then of course, right in that very second, making a judgement is exactly what I’m doing!
When did it all get so complicated?!?
God helping us, here’s to loving each person, regardless of the label. One person at a time, individually, leaving God to figure out the details.