Don't Label Me, Please

yankee, sweet tea, unsweetened tea, Christian labels
“Oh, you’re a Yankee!the waitress smiled.

Having lived in the Carolinas for a total of 9 years, I’m accustomed to this occasional response when I order unsweetened iced tea.* 

It’s true that I’m a Yankee when it comes to iced tea and Civil War opinions, but otherwise, I’m kind of hard to pin down. I was born in Colorado, and I’ve lived all over the U.S. plus 8 years in Europe. And I suppose I’m a tiny bit Southern: I like boiled peanuts, love shrimp and grits, and I’ve adopted the term “y’all.” 

So what's my point?

I think we Christians sometimes give each other simplistic labels too...labels like Charismatic, Calvinist, Arminian, Pentecostal, etc. And we distance ourselves from each other.

But Scripture says,"If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ... make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind…value others above yourselves” 

Let’s enjoy our differences and learn from them.

*In many Southern fast food restaurants they label their iced tea dispensers “Northern” and “Southern.” And you can bet the Northern dispenser rarely needs refilling. If you want to try real Southern Sweet tea, here's a RECIPE and A Detailed RECIPEBut be warned that it is SWEET. 

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14 comments:

  1. I think there's a real danger in applying labels to others because we make judgments about people without really getting to know them personally. We also run the risk of hurting feelings and alienating people with our labels.

    For the record, I'm Southern girl who always orders "Northern" tea. ;)

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    1. I agree, Rebecca. And I know there are no Southern stereotypes either although I may have made it sound that way in this devotion. hmmm...maybe I missed my own point! I hope not.
      : )
      Actually, I'm not offended to be called a Yankee...but it's a good example of a simplistic label. What makes me sad is hearing someone sort Christians with labels or by denominations and keep certain ones at arm's length. I've learned so much from Christians who hold different views than I hold about non-essential doctrines. And there are so many things we don't fully understand about these non-essentials. I hate to see them separate us. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
      Bless you!

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  2. I chuckled at this devotion... well the part about the sweet tea/yankee. At work we get calls from all over the US and numerous times customers comment, you are in NC right?? I could tell by your accent. Which really makes me wonder how would they know that. I mean... when someone calls, I can usually tell if they are from somewhere up North, but rarely can I pinpoint the state!! On the other hand I have some friends that are from TX so I can pick out a Texan pretty quick!
    As Christians we sometimes let the legalism override out hearts. God's love is for all! And we should let that love shine to all people.
    And I love my sweet tea!

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    1. Someone from U.K. commented on my accent on my audio devotions, and I had to laugh. I guess we all think we sound normal and everyone else has the accent. : )
      Thanks for your fun and serious insights.

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  3. I like this devotional!! I like sweet-tea...does that make me southern?? LOL, I think not. I have lived all over too until I got married and settled down. I like calling myself a Biblicist as the Bible steers me in the right direction.

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    1. I like your title, Judith...a Biblicist. It makes me think of Brother Andrew with Open Doors (a ministry that takes Bibles into closed countries). I guess that early on in his ministry someone asked for his statement of faith,and he sent them a copy of the Bible!!
      I like that.

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  4. Great little post with a big message! I do so agree!

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    1. I never believed in labels....they lock people in......great message

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  5. I guess we all have labels, but I don't even like the ones I have used occasionally on myself.
    I did kinda get a chuckle over the Yankee thing.
    But the labeling can cause division.
    Thanks, Blessings Roxy

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  6. Hi Gail, yes I agree we should enjoy and celebrate our differences instead of holding them against each other or judging each other by them. Great post
    God bless
    Tracy

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  7. Haha---I'm the girl in New Jersey who has to always order sweetener on the side just to get my share of sweet tea! Great post, found you via Mommy Musings. Hope you check us out at http://www.thechirpingmoms.com!

    Julie

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  8. Yes we do like labels and categories don't we? And boxes! Love this, thanks for linking with me.

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