When you dabble with wholesale clothing, you see labels with a different perspective, far different from the average consumer. The brands sewn in your clothing are simply just licenses that allow you to sell an item for a larger profit. I have witnessed identical garments with different tags attached to it. I’m not talking about counterfeit items. They were manufactured at the same place but sewn with different labels. For this reason, I appreciate garments regardless of the tag on them as long as the quality is there and most importantly, it meets my preference.
Do labels mean anything at all? If you’re in marketing, very much so. It can be sold at a higher price point. People walk into a store with a reputation of quality and you expect to get items reflective of the price that was paid. Don’t be surprised if you find the exact items elsewhere without the inflated price tag simply because the label attached on it is not a brand name. You’ve probably come across this more than you can remember.
I’ve come across people who have purposely swapped and sewn brand name tags on a generic shirt. How superficial can one get? Apparently, brand loyalty was very important to that person. The brand had a reputation for excellence and maybe even deemed a status symbol. It would be deceptive if the person intentionally did that so they can brag about the brand they’re wearing to someone but in reality, what they did is not far from what marketers do already. It’s everything to do with having the reputation of quality.
The Christian label however is slapped on broadly and even unbelievers expect the Christian to be a paragon of virtue. Even though the world has utter disdain for Christians, they expect you to be exactly what you claim to be, an “ambassador of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20) in all your dealings. Any little mistake warrants the label of a hypocrite, the all too common “Christians are the biggest hypocrites” proclamation, when in fact, the bigger hypocrite is the one who lives not holding to a righteous standard but holds other people to a standard of perfection. I can only imagine their gratification of being able to say, “Aha! Aha!” to the Christian (Psalm 35:21).
David was far from being perfect throughout his lifetime but he got the best compliment from God, being described a man after God’s heart (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22). It wasn’t about him striving to appear perfect to the world but we see a glimpse of his deep love for God through the burning indignation he got as unbelievers were mocking the Almighty. You can relate when you feel truly disturbed especially if someone you love was made fun of. A perfectly sane person won’t feel this way for an imaginary being. We also see the clarity of his penitent nature all throughout the book of Psalms, a quality God deems to be pleasing (Isaiah 66:1-2).
The Christian label is very weighty which comes at a great cost (Luke 14:28-29). The Christian walk is hard and if you’re a seasoned one, more will be demanded from you (Luke 12:48). You have to bear the expectation of excellence and consistency (by no means perfection), but righteous in God’s eyes through the righteousness of Christ imputed in you, which is activated through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
Are you staying true to the label you bear?
“Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.”