Branching Out Blog

Tag! You're it!

Posted by Sharon Krause on Jun 26, 2023 6:00:00 AM

Nowadays one can get tagged or named on Facebook, and therefore that person’s attention is drawn to a certain page or item on the website. When children play the game, tag, a child is tappedthat is, taggedand then he or she has to chase the other players around and try to catch and tag someone else. “Tag! You’re it”! If some store merchandise has a tag on it, that item has a name, price, or something distinctly designated for it.

One way or another, attention is drawn to a person or a thing. Someone or something is tagged. Think about it. What happens, for example, if you are judged or tagged as a worrier or a loser, or a weakling? Once you are tagged, it is difficult to get past the tag or change the label. It can affect how others talk to you, treat you and even dance around you. “Tag! You’re this or that. Now live with it!” Judgment has been passed!

In today’s the gospel reading in today’s Mass, Matthew 7:1-5, we see that Jesus does not want us to judge, so we won’t be judged ourselves. It is not harmful, however, to draw attention to another person’s good attributes. Those tags are good tags. What harm would it be to say someone is “a loving Christian,” “a brave hero,” a good friend,” or even “a good listener?”

St. Paul tells us several times of the value of affirming and encouraging others. Here are a few examples to consider.

     …{L}et each of us please our neighbor for the good, for building up. (Romans 15:2)


     May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony with

   one another, in keeping with Christ Jesus, that with one accord you may with one

     voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6)


   We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works. (Hebrews



   Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do.

   (1 Thessalonians 5:11.)


What’s in a name? Suggestion? Perpetuation? Criticism? Reinforcement? Affirmation? Names are important. Let’s be careful how we play Tag!

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Topics: be less judgmental, Sharon Krause

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