By Jeff Padgett, Ph.D.

1 Samuel 16:6-7, “ 6 So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, “ Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him! ” 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “ Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. ”

la·bel /ˈlābəl/ noun A small piece of paper, fabric, plastic, or similar material attached to an object and giving information about it.
verb To attach a label to (something). Assign to a category, especially inaccurately or restrictively.

Labels often begin from the time we are small. The newborn often has “mom’s smile” or “dad’s nose.” From there, our labels morph into what would be definitive of our “social hierarchy” in school. Jocks, cheerleaders, gamers, mean girls, gangsters, intellectuals… You get the idea.

You would think it would stop after you graduate from high school or college. Not so. It continues throughout life. Even the labels attached to you when you were young can still prove difficult to move beyond.

A prime candidate to possess label limitation was David. When we think of David, we don’t immediately think of limitations. He was a great warrior and the greatest of kings. Yet, many never saw his potential. As a young man, he didn’t look like a warrior or king. His most significant obstacles were created by the people who tried to put limitations on him.

When Samuel arrived at Jesse’s house to anoint one of the boys to be king, Jesse lined up the ones who had king potential. That was every son—except David.

At first, the prophet thought the way Jesse did. He based his judgment on those who looked like a king. But God had something else in mind. Isn’t it wonderful to know God values us for who we truly are, even if our family doesn’t? Here are some potential killers that David faced as a boy:

1. David’s brothers didn’t think David had Warrior-Potential.
1 Samuel 17:28, “Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, “ Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.”

His brothers saw him as only an errand boy, but God saw him as a young man with a mission.

2. King Saul didn’t think David had Champion-Potential
Saul’s response reveals his skepticism.

1 Samuel 17:32-33, 32 Then David said to Saul, “ Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine. ” 33 And Saul said to David, “ You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. ”

To make up for what the king perceived to be David’s shortcomings. Saul tried to get David to wear his royal armor. (Why not—Saul wasn’t using it for anything!) David didn’t allow Saul to hinder him with his low expectations or his bulky armor.

3. Goliath didn’t think David had Opponent-Potential
1 Samuel 17:43-44, 43 So the Philistine said to David, “ Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks? ” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 And the Philistine said to David, “ Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field! ”

Goliath despised David and believed David wasn’t even worthy of a proper burial. You can quickly determine the caliber of a person by the amount of opposition it takes to discourage them. Everyone told David he had no potential, but he was able to:
Go beyond his family (relational limitations)
Go beyond King Saul (leadership limitations)
Go beyond the Goliaths (skill limitations)

You may be faced with a different set of circumstances, but the same set of principles. Allow me to offer some reassurance to help you to overcome the negative labels put on you.

Words of Encouragement

• Limitations don’t limit us unless we let them.
David’s father, brothers, and King Saul thought he had no potential when, in reality, he had God potential. He always remembered the day Samuel anointed him. Remember when God places a landmark event in your life.

• Don’t try to become someone else when other people impose limitations on you.
When Saul realized David was going to fight Goliath, he put his armor on David. Saul tried to attack the problem as he would. God didn’t want a substitute for Saul; He wanted David. God will never hold you accountable for gifts you don’t have or responsibilities He hasn’t given you. He wants you to be you.

• When you rise above your limitations, you can help others do the same.
David’s victory became Israel’s victory. David went from negative labels placed on him by a limited amount of other people to labels of positivity given by a nation.

The label that mattered the most is the one that God placed on the young man. No matter who tries to put a label on you that will discourage or belittle you, always remember, God’s label is the label that matters. He labels you as His child!

Family Weekend

What a tremendous time had by the families of our young men during our family weekend. Click on the picture to see a recap video of some of the things that went down. Enjoy!

A Parent’s Perspective

Beginning this month, PAYH will broadcast a series of videos called “A Parent’s Perspective.” This will be a series of videos that feature Connie Carney, a mom of one of our alumnus, Ben Carney.

PAYH’s 60th Anniversary

Please join us in celebrating the PAYH’s 60th Anniversary October 2021 – October 2022

Please consider a contribution to our Scholarship Fund which will allow us to offer additional scholarships to offset a young man’s tuition.

#PAYH #boyshome #vidalia #georgia #vidaliaga #youthhome #family #boyslife #youngmen #PAYH60years #60thAnniversary

PAYH Agricultural Class

This is the debut of the PAYH Agricultural Class. This class is being taught through members of the Southeast Produce Council, Inc. Our first field trip was a visit to Shuman Farms to learn about seeding their RealSweet Vidalia Onions. It was a great day!

#PAYH #boyshome #vidalia #georgia #vidaliaga #youthhome #family #boyslife #youngmen #SECP #realsweet #SEPCCares

In Memory

With a heavy heart, we share that one of our precious alumnus, Bill Woods, has just celebrated his home-going to be with Jesus on Friday evening. Bill was such a fine man, and he will be missed by so many. He loved his family and was very active in his church as well as coaching track where his children participated. His wife spoke very highly of PAYH: “Thank you for helping raise such a fine man. He attributed his success to Paul and you all at the youth home.” Please keep his wife Heather, their children, and the rest of the family in your thoughts and prayers. In lieu of flowers; memorials may be made to PAYH. Read his obituary here:

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