Thursday, May 5, 2016

Overcoming a Negative Label

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

He shuffled into the hotel’s breakfast room with his wife at his arm, and I noticed the bib clipped around his neck. I smiled broadly because I tend to be extra friendly to those with whom others might avoid eye contact. A little while later I eaves dropped on his conversation with the server. He was in Michigan for a book signing. My ears perked up. It wasn’t long before I outright joined the conversation. And what a beautiful story I heard.

In high school, Jack Clifford was voted ‘Least Likely to Succeed’. His principal, not liking the title, challenged Jack: “What are you going to do about that?” Jack wasn’t a good student, didn’t like school, and didn’t see a promising future.

Fast forward… As founder of the Food Network, Jack is signing books recounting his recipe for success. But perhaps more significant, he’s in Grand Rapids interviewing applicants for a scholarship honoring his former high school principal – the one who challenged him to shake the negative label.

Jack’s generosity has helped 600 underprivileged youth shake their labels and find hope. The recipients have often gone on to careers helping others without opportunity. Don’t you love the effect of one principal’s investment in a disinterested student?

I can’t wait to read Least Likely to Succeed, by Jack Clifford.

Our words and actions, both positive and negative, effect people in ways we’ll probably never know. (tweet it)

Have you accepted a label about yourself that might be holding you down?

#SeedsOfScripture #gratitude #PayItForward


  1. well, cathy.......I was always called 'dummy,' as I was growing up, but I just knew that one day, I would prove 'them' wrong!!! God was, (and is), on my side, and here I am, to prove God knows exactly what He is doing, all the time!!!!!alleluia! thank you, Lord!!! sometimes things are really a challenge for me, but God helps me to go forth, and TRY!!!!!!!!!

  2. My brother used to tease me about my singing and I've hung on to the thought that I sing poorly my whole life. Fortunately, contemporary praise service usually have loud amplifiers so I can sing my heart out. Still, I lean forward and apologize to the person sitting in front of me for singing so loudly.
    For many years I labeled myself promiscuous and had a hard time feeling worthy of God's love. I have accepted His grace and let go of that awful label!