A Woman’s Worth: More Than My Labels

As if it wasn’t scary enough to share my insecurities about what I see in the mirror, today I’m going to bare my soul in a whole new way and tell you how I tried to use a label to make myself appear to be more than I was.

I’m still embarrassed by it.Don't let worldly labels determine eternal worth or identity

You see I was headed to a big conference where attendees expected to exchange business cards. I deliberated over how to present myself on this 2 inch by 3 inch piece of flimsy card stock. I even researched the nuances of the definitions of “writer” and “author.” Ultimately, I decided on author because, well, technically I publish content on my blog…

And because it made me sound more legit.

It couldn’t have been further from the truth. I was mortified when I realized there really was a standard for calling oneself an “author.” And I didn’t measure up to it. I was masquerading as something I was not. The label on my business card identified me as an impostor. I was trying to make myself look more important, more valuable, more worthy than my accomplishments warranted. And I fell well short of the mark. In fact, I was nauseous every time I reluctantly handed one to a new acquaintance. I felt defeated and worthless.

What I’ve learned from that encounter is our eternal worth is not based on our earthly works and our identity must go deeper than the labels we wear.

In much the same way a shirt is still a shirt no matter what the tag says. I am still a child of God no matter how society labels me. Or how I attempt to label myself.

Eternal worth is not based on earthly works. Identity must go deeper than the labels we wear.… Click To Tweet

Defined or Described

I know I’m a child of God. That is my eternal identity. Everything else is just a description.

The distinction is subtle. Describe means to give an account in words including all the relevant characteristics qualities or events, while to define something is to give a statement of its exact meaning. 

Don't allow worldly descriptions to define your eternal worth. #AWomansWorth Click To Tweet

A shirt is a garment for the upper body. That is the definition. But if you describe the shirt you would talk about its color, size, what materials were used to make it, if it has short or long sleeves or no sleeves at all, and whether or not it is solid or has stripes or a graphic design. Those are descriptions you might find on a label. They don’t change the fact that a shirt is a shirt. They simply describe the current state of the shirt. We could spill bleach on the shirt or rip off the sleeves, or even add a new design to it. But it is still a shirt.

Labels are temporary, but my status as a child of God is eternal.

What’s on Your Label?

All too often we allow labels to define us, to limit us, to degrade us.

   Just a mom

   Unemployed

   Overweight

   Scrawny

   Dependent

   Independent

   Failure

Sometimes we wear our labels with pride, hoping they will increase our value.

   CEO

   Working Mom

   Team Mom

   Work-from-home Mom

   PTO President

   Ministry Leader

   Fitness Expert

  Winner

Allowing temporary worldly labels to determine our worth devalues God’s creation.

Allowing temporary worldly labels to determine our worth devalues God’s creation. #AWomansWorth Click To Tweet

Our Eternal Identity

Labels can be torn out. Sometimes they expire, like my ID card or my drivers license. Or, they can be replaced like my shiny new business cards that now more accurately label me as a “Writer – Speaker – Creative.” Incidentally, I doubt I’ll change them once I’m actually published. Labels have limitations because they only describe our temporary state. Like descriptions, they change with age, mistakes, achievements, experience, illness, tragedy, or increased wisdom.

The exact meaning of who we are and what we are worth to God is defined in the text of the Bible, not by any label we wear. His definition of us all that matters.

God defines us with an eternal identity. He says we will be perfect and holy, just as He is. His Son’s sacrifice assures me of that and nothing can change the way He sees me. Or you! He sees us through the veil of His Son’s righteousness, not our own accomplishments. 

We who will live eternally, cannot ascribe our worth to temporary identities. Our worth is found in the untarnishable identity God has given us.

Labels won’t last beyond this life. #AWomansWorth Click To Tweet

Labels won’t last beyond this life. We are worth more than the labels we wear, because we will all be perfect, untarnished reflections of Master in heaven. Shouldn’t we start living like the MASTERPIECES God created us to be now?

What labels have you allowed to define you? Together let’s rip them out and replace them with the unchanging truth about who God says we are. His Word determines our worth.

His Word determines our worth. #AWomansWorth Click To Tweet

I created these Scripture Identity Cards as a free gift to help you remember your true identity is eternal. Just join the growing community at My Messy Desk by subscribing to download.

*Click on the title link that appears after you enter your information and hit send, or check your e-mail for a link later.


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Don’t miss the other great posts in this series:

A Woman’s Worth

More Than the Money I Make

More Than My Mothering

More Than My MESSES

More Than What’s In The Mirror

More Than I Can Be

More Than My Treasures

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A Woman's Worth More Than My Labels

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Linking Up With

For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne EllerThought Provoking Thursday, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and TruthFaith and Fellowship FridayGrace and Truth Friday, Good Morning Monday, Soul SurvivalMonday Musings, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His StoryWoman to Woman Wednesday, Women With Intention Wednesday, Sitting Among Friends, Testimony Tuesday, Planting Roots, and Fresh Market Friday.

22 thoughts on “A Woman’s Worth: More Than My Labels

  1. Hello Liz, one of the best parts of returning to college as a non-traditional student was that I left all my domestic and familial labels at home. I noticed that I walked taller and spoke up more. It was great! Since then, I’ve realized that typically our self-imposed labels are only visible to us unless we share them. Awareness is the key to balance. Thanks for the reminder of the only label that matters. Blessings from your neighbor at Kelly’s.

    1. Interesting! That is very true… When we are hyper-critical of our selves, we tend to find flaws and affix labels that nobody else sees. Blessings!

  2. I like that you’ve gone there today, Liz. I’ve struggled when people call me a writer because I’m simply a counselor who writes.

    I’ll never publish beyond my blog, but I’m at peace with that. I couldn’t be happier, no matter what someone might call me.

    I love what I do.

    1. I had to laugh at your comment, Linda! I was just at a local writers group that I helped found and strangely enough one of our discussions centered on how hard it is to call ourselves writers. How ironic that I struggle with that, yet I wanted to portray myself as an author. So glad you have peace with God’s path. Blessings!

  3. Such a good explanation on the subtle differences between defined and described! Well said! I’m so thankful for God’s unchanging truth about who we are.

  4. Yes! Thanks for the reminder, Liz. Love your analogy to the shirt and description. And I have to admit, I too often say, “I’m just….” This also resonates with me, “Identity must go deeper than the labels we wear.” Blessings!

  5. “Labels have limitations because they only describe our temporary state.” TRUTH! Thank you for your transparency in this article! Just what I need to hear. Blessings!

  6. Thanks so much, Liz. I appreciate your sharing so transparently here. We can all relate. 🙂 His Word determines our worth, no earthly label can. I need to remember that as I am in the “launch-your-kids-out-into-the-world” stage now and my “mom” label looks a bit different!

    1. Times of transition take their toll on our labels. That’s why it’s so important to know the things about us that will never change…our eternal truth! When all else changes or fails, His Word remains! XOXO

  7. Liz, I love this and will share it. It is so encouraging for those times when we are tempted to label ourselves instead of live loved by a gracious God. Thank you!

    1. Thanks, Leslie! I appreciate that! It can be tempting to use those labels to our advantage, especially when we don’t understand the truth about our eternal worth! Blessings!

  8. Liz what a remarkable post. I too have had struggles with labels and the supposed worth they place on me. My worth is only found in Him so I honestly try to avoid labels, but it seems harder and harder to avoid. Thank you for putting how I feel into words and sharing at Salt & Light Linkup!

  9. Isn’t it beautiful to repeat to ourselves: “I am a child of God.” That knowledge is more than a head thing, it’s a heart thing. I find it grounds me, makes me feel stronger and gives a wonderful perspective to all I face. Thanks, Liz, for pointing this out.

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