A title is not enough…
Title: a name that describes someone’s position or job
I have lived long enough to know that a title does not make or break a person. No matter what title comes in front of your name, it does not mean you embody what that title implies.
You can put in any ‘title, and run it through this test. I will take one of the titles I wear: coach. A coach by the nature of the title implies one who sees the field, knows the rules of the game, knows their players and brings all of their skill to help their team win. The coach is not in the game but they help the players play the game well.
This is our ideal picture of what a coach should embody, but we can all speak to times that a coach has not embodied these things. We respect a coach that is wise. We do not respect coaches that are foolish or evil. We do simply do not respect/trust a coach because they are a coach.
(Note: I am borrowing Henry Cloud’s reading of Proverbs here to talk about the 3 different types of people we encounter in the world: wise, foolish, and evil – see his book Necessary Endings)
I care very little for titles. I care greatly if people are wise in the way they operate.
I see so many people defending people because of their titles. That person is a teacher, a pastor, a civil servant, a politician, and etc. therefore they are ok, nay they are good. To declare one good because of the title they possess is not noble nor informed.
We should follow people that lead with their wise hearts and actions. We should not follow people or not follow people just because of to their title/lack thereof. I never say, “Man, that sounds like a solid idea, but you don’t really have the credentials to lead here. I will defer to the title. Get back in touch when you have the title.”
I guess this is on my mind a lot right now when we see title used as a means of defense for horrible actions.
“Well that person is __________, so they were in the right.”
We are in the midst of a week where we are celebrating the laying down of not only the life of Jesus but also his rights. Let me say it this way, He was the Son of God, yet He did not claim the rights (all the power and authority) to the title because it got in the way of God’s purpose.
When we hold our title up as a justification for doing x or y, we miss the example of Jesus. Jesus emptied himself for the sake of fulfilling God’s purpose with his life, death, and resurrection. Jesus took the call on his life to heart and lived well. It cost him everything. And He calls us to follow in that path.
See John 12:26b: Wherever I am, there my servant will be also.
We are invited to follow Jesus into a place that:
1. See God’s intent and purpose in this world as larger than our own.
2. We can not and should not hide behind our title as a way to justify our poor actions or our inaction.
3. Following Jesus to those places will sharing in laying down our lives in surrender to Him and His ways.
Be with Jesus.
Don’t hide behind or defend titles for the sake of titles.