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#7 Hidden Behind Labels

Summary:

Does labeling people help us understand them better, or does it hide the God-given beauty within us all?

Questions:

As you watch the episode, consider:

1. How different is it to bully someone than to just label them with being something?  Is one better than the other?  Is there really any difference at all?

2. What do we accomplish by using labels for people?  What does that say about ourselves?

3. What do the examples of the thieves, on the cross and on the boat, tell us about who a person truly is deep down inside?  How does labeling someone only prevent us from seeing who they truly are and their potential? 

Check out these model lesson plans / retreat sessions for JOY and GOYA!

Links:

And here are some articles you may find to be helpful:

1. Mystagogy, "The Thief Who Prayed Daily to the Theotokos"

2. Mystagogy, "Who Really Is a Bigot?"

Script:

Hey everybody this is Steve, and I like cereal. When I was little I loved walking down the cereal aisle and looking up at all the colorful boxes on the shelves.  I loved those colorful labels because they told me all the sweet yumminess that's in the boxes.  Just the sight of a box of peanut butter Cap'n Crunch still makes me drool.  Don't judge...

Now that I'm a little older, I focus on different labels to tell me what I'm eating and they can tell me a lot about what's in a box.  But what about the labels we give people?  Do they tell us anything about what's inside a person?  When we label people, it's usually not very nice.  We usually choose hurtful words.  We choose words that express the negative things we see in others, but that misses the point about who a person truly is. 

Think of the story of the Crucifixion.  Christ was hanging between two men, one of whom turned to Christ and was repentant and asked for Christ remember him in His Kingdom. We call him a thief because he spent so much of his life robbing and killing and hurting people. But he's no thief, he's a saint!  Negative things don't define us! Sin doesn't define us! If anything those things stop us from being who God made us to be.  God made us in His image, and through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, we're all children of God.

Unlike cereal, the labels we use for people don't reveal anything.  In fact they hide something really beautiful and really important.  They hide the beauty of a human being, that we're made in God's image, that we're His children.  It's like walking down a serial aisle and all the covers are blacked out.  It hides the awesomeness inside. So let’s be the bee and not hide the beauty in every person by covering it with labels. Be the bee and live Orthodoxy. Remember to like and subscribe. I’ll see you all, next week.

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