Last week I was asked by a chaplain supervisor if I thought I had OCD. I immediately pictured in my mind a frantic person who has to check ten times to see if he locked the door before leaving the house. So, with that visual, I said, “I don’t think so. I mean, I like my office to be neat and tidy, but does that make me OCD?”
I wonder about all these labels we use, not just in the helping professions, but in everyday life. There are all these potentially damaging classifications for kids today like ADD, hyperactive (ADHD), slightly autistic, learning disabled, etc. No wonder our kids have low-self esteem.
And I meet adults who think in these categories as well. Do you have MDD (Major Depression), OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), or AADD (Adult Attention Deficit Disorder)? Are you bi-polar or manic? Are you in a “co-dependent” relationship? Certainly the tools used by psychotherapists to diagnose and treat patients are a necessary reality, but how did we get to the point where we are all diagnosing each other or ourselves with these limiting categories?
When Jesus was baptized in the Jordan a voice from heaven spoke with amazing clarity and authority: “This is my Son, my Beloved. In Him I am well pleased!” Maybe we should be looking at each other and affirming our God-given unique qualities and discovering our Spirit-empowered gifted-ness. Anyone can see the faults and shortcomings of others. I pray that I can be the kind of Christian that looks at each of the people I come into contact with and say, “Wow, you are a beloved son or daughter of God. God is well pleased with you!”
Label me “beloved.”
© Paul Dordal, 2013