Pride in Titles
We were in the middle of a faculty meeting and one of our older professors with a doctorate suddenly turned us away from business, “Brothers, why don’t we drop all the titles. I know with the students it’s important to maintain respect, but in this meeting we’re all on the same level. Let’s just go by our first names.” His point was well taken. In Christ’s family we are all brothers and sisters, and any hunger for titles and recognition has to go.
As Jesus hammered home the contrast between His followers and those of His opponents a few days before they arrested Him, Jesus had this to say about titles in His Kingdom,
“But you, don’t make it a practice to be called ‘Rabbi’ for there’s only one Teacher. And you’re all brothers. Don’t call someone ‘father’ on earth for there’s only one Father, the One in Heaven. Don’t call someone ‘teacher’ for you have only one Teacher, the Messiah. For the one who desires to be great among you, must be the servant. Whoever exalts himself, will be humbled. But whoever humbles himself, will be exalted.” - Matthew 23:8-12
Since stepping down after forty years as the lead pastor at Midlothian Bible Church, Jesus has been working hard on my pride. For years I was the one who was asked to pray at the public gatherings in town and was introduced as Dr. David Wyrtzen, the pastor of MBC. I even got to pray to introduce the ceremony when Governor Perry came for a rare visit to Midlothian. Now I ‘m only one of the brothers and sisters in the family, and Jesus, the One with the ultimate titles, says this is good. It’s the way it should be.
LORD, I know I’ve taught that not needing titles, positions, and recognition is the heart of your Kingdom, but my insecurities often cause me to try and grasp the positions of honor and prestige. Obviously, You aren’t saying my kids shouldn’t call me ‘Dad,’ but You are saying I need to treat them and other members of Your family as my equals. I still have a long way to go in this business of being a servant. Teach me!
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