“Doubting Thomas.” How did Thomas, one of the twelve disciples, feel to have that label attached to him? Why don’t we remember him for his faith? After all, when Jesus declared His imminent death, Thomas was the one who stated, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.” And when he saw the risen Christ, Thomas declared, “My Lord and my God.” According to tradition, he was the only disciple who made it to India (outside the Roman Empire). I wonder if the other disciples would have responded the same way as Thomas had they not been in the room that day when Jesus appeared to them? Perhaps. But Thomas is the one who got stuck with the label.
What if people took the worst day of my life and labeled me with it? Yikes!
Other Bible characters are given more positive labels: David the Shepherd Boy, Abraham the Man of Faith, Meek Moses. Yet their lives were not always exemplary. So why do those labels stick? Some people are able to shed their labels. Paul the Persecutor is better known as Paul the Apostle. Jacob the Deceiver became Jacob the Patriarch.
What label will be attached to my epitaph? What do I want to be labeled? What label do I need to shed? What is God’s label for me?
I’ve wondered this same thing about Thomas. Why was he named Doubting? I think he grieved deeply, and desperately wanted it to be the Lord, so he asked; he wasn’t about to believe a liar. Not sure what labels I’ll be left with, nor if it will matter, once I’m dead. God knows all these things…