Labels are useful, even if they're usually misleading

So as I was driving to work this morning, it occurred to me that I cuss a lot for an evangelical Christian.

This may, in fact, be the only thing I really have in common with Mark Driscoll.

And while I was thinking that, I thought that I usually don’t think of myself as “evangelical Christian.”  Not because I don’t love me some Jesus and think it’s cool to talk about it, but because it’s a label and a box and I have never been a really big fan of labels or boxes. Labels are made of generalities, and those generalities are often so broad that it’s like slapping an identical Wal-Mart “Great Value” logo on everything from dish soap to generic Triscuits (which are, by the way, just as delicious, especially with some cheddar cheese so sharp it sucks all the moisture out of your mouth instantly).  But I digress.  I get distracted at the thought of cheese and crackers.

So you end up with something like “evangelical Christian” based on a few generalized criteria (“Believe in Jesus? Yup. Dip or sprinkle? Dip. Okay, you’re an evangelical!”) that’s supposed to describe everyone from me to Pat Robertson, and I’m pretty sure his head would explode if he ever found his way to this blog.

people can be as different as apples and oranges, even if they wear the same label.

But labels are also handles.  I am a fairly complex person, aside from the cussing.  The more I study people in relationships, the more I realize that people need the handles that labels provide. They need something to grab hold of in the beginning to feel like they understand what they’re supposed to do with you.

I don’t look my age,  part of my hair is purple, I dress like an extra from the set of a Star Wars prequel, I talk like a cross between Paula Deen and Hurley from LOST, and I work in a career field that didn’t exist 3 years ago… Let’s face it, I am not the most instantly accessible person on the planet.

So I guess the least I can do is concede to a few labels so people know where to start pre-judging me.  😉

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