Titles don’t matter. They really don’t. I know certain titles come with the recognition of power and status. I can see how titles are used designate positions of authority. Yet I do not believe titles in their own right give you power, status, or authority. Titles are merely one person or institution’s attempt to recognize what is not yet a reality. All those things come with relationships and truth based authority.
We live in a word obsessed by titles. One can’t ignore who is designated caption of the sports team. Even worse, one should never ignore the one with the title of referee! The lists of those who naturally command respect include boss, doctor, policeman, custom’s agent, and judge. In spite of the role these people play, albeit longer or shorter than others in positions of authority, they rarely command our respect unless we really know the individual on the inside. A simple definition of titles could be this; titles reflect the aspiration others have to see leadership or particular expertise in us. Titles can never be simply granted. They are given in reflection of the steps in the journey already taken. Titles are usually experienced based.
Jesus noted how his disciplines “address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. That is what I am.” (John 13.13) Yet this only came after being in relationship and making a clear choice to be in that position. I wonder if we used the same criteria what titles others would give you or me. What title would Cherry give me after more than twenty-five years of marriage? How about Carli and Whitney when they reflect on the years of growing up under my wing? And you? What about your parents? Those who know you best? Associates who work with you?
What would be our true title? Whatever it was today, the fact is that today’s choices and decisions will determine our titles in the future. We have an opportunity to write a fresh script every day of our life with God as an active participant in the process.
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