FACT: We Christians love labeling ourselves.
We’re Reformed, we’re Charismatic, we’re emergent, we’re justice seeking, we’re seeker sensitive, we’re adoptional (I don’t think that’s a word), we’re missional, we’re called to foreign missions, we’re radical, we’re Christian hedonists, we’re organic, all-natural, authentic, and label-loving. You get the point.
And I have been extremely helped by so many of these categories. I’m so grateful for the push towards adoption, for Reformed theology, for Christian hedonism, and for the evangelistic emphasis of the missional-minded folks.
But sometimes, all the labels can be a burden to me.
I’m sure the problem is totally with me and my legalistic self, but it seems like each label carries specific requirements with it. If I’m going to be missional, I need to be highly focused on reaching out to my community with the gospel. If I’m going to be adoptional, I need to create a community of adoption within my church and possibly adopt children myself. If I’m called to missions, I need to be constantly thinking about and praying for the unreached people groups in the world. If I’m truly seeking justice, I need to be making a concerted effort towards ending sex trafficking in the United States. You get the point.
There are a lot of blog posts and tweets and status updates that remind me of all that I should be doing. I need to more missional, more missions minded, more focused on the Holy Spirit, more authentic with my neighbors, more committed to the cause of adoption, more careful with my eating habits, and more committed to ending sex trafficking in America.
And don’t get me wrong, each of these things is truly biblical.
It’s right and good to reach out to the community and to adopt children and to reach the unreached people groups and to fight against horrific things like sex trafficking. But I can’t do all these things at one time with equal intensity and fervor. I’m a pretty limited guy. I’m married, and I have three little girls who want to play with dollies and puzzles. I have a yard that needs mowing and a grandpa that needs visiting and people in my church who I need to pray for. I battle physical anxiety from time to time, which puts real physical limitations on what I can do. Most of the time, I feel like I’m barely keeping my head above water.