The immaturity of name calling is loosely associated with the behavior of children on the playground. I recall my adolescent years in middle school where there would be neighborhood jiving contests in which the most hilarious blow towards another person would bring upon an eruption of loud ” Ooh ooh” from those of us surrounding this pubescent fight of words. The behavior of name calling and magnifying other’s perceived flaws doesn’t dissipate at youth, it continues throughout life , yet it’s more cunning with what we call throwing shade. It’s essential for us as believers in Christ to know we are first called above all other names children of God.
The Shade Of It All!
Have you ever heard someone blatantly say something meanspirited about someone’s character that they knew wasn’t true? Have you ever had someone playfully tease with you or someone else in name calling, but it was very obvious that deep down this person was being sarcastic with inflicting harm. Some of us grew up in families where it was crucial to develop thick skin in not knowing what was looked at back then as family teasing was actually masking emotional abuse. I’ve worked in toxic and hostile work environments where gossiping and discrediting others in character was just the norm in conversation. I’ve created distance from people, and I’ve ended friendships that the only premise of being able to connect was in reference to talking about others in a malicious tone. The truth is what we say about others says more about who we are in character. The reality is those who sit back to openly speak negatively about others through spreading rumors, judgements, unsolicited critiques, and characters assassinations are people who usually aren’t happy within themselves. It’s best for us as believers to not entertain people who choose to be messy with little regards to their use of words in being venomous towards others.
Sticks and Stones
I am a weird combination of being a tough cookie, yet I’m a sensitive soul. I learned how to hold my ground in being the only girl around the house growing up with all brothers and male cousins that enjoyed an occasional tease with me. I had my share of name calling with experiences on the playground that I wasn’t afraid to put my dukes up in words or fists to speak up for myself. I can say somehow in adulthood I struggled in finding that balance in knowing what to ignore and what to call out from being disrespected for a season. I thought as a Christian we were to simply no matter what to turn the other check in letting things slide. I didn’t fight, but somehow I would brush things off as if it didn’t bother me, yet it did. I remember those years brought upon many unhealthy friendships and relationships. Thankfully, through personal growth and deliverance I am definitely more assertive, yet I know when to let something roll off like water off a duck’s back. The thing is when you put yourself out there in any capacity their will be judgements, assumptions, opinions, and sometimes nasty jabs of words. Unfortunately, in some scenarios amongst women instead of a sisterhood it can be very vicious in the words we speak about one another. I’ve learned that in surrounding myself with genuinely positive people especially women in Christ we tend to lift one another up with authentic encouragement, and we don’t waste the energy in tearing each other down. We may not always be liked, understood, or accepted by everyone we may encounter in them possibly saying some not so nice things about who they think we are. We must remember that whatever name we maybe called by others good or bad that we are foremost called children of God.