“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality
with God something to be grasped,” Philippians 2:6 (NIV)
I worked with a lady who had earned a doctorate in education and could have insisted that she be called ‘Doctor’ but she introduced herself with her first name. She had been in education before she took the job at the library. Her advanced degree studies were in reading education. If you didn’t see her name tag, you didn’t know she possessed three earned degrees. She knew her job, did it well, and was likable as a person.
We see people who wish to be treated as regular, in spite of their advancements. Some pastors answer to their title; some seem comfortable being called by their first name. A friend once told me that pastors were people who had a calling from God but were just like us in all other ways. I had a counselor who possessed a PhD who told me to call him by his given name. I felt comfortable with him. He put on no airs.
In walking through our world, we want to appear genuine to those we meet. We try to do this in ways that don’t burden those we are trying to get to know. Coming from a background that is difficult for me to talk about, I prefer not to tell all my deep feelings about things in my past. But I try to be pleasant and understanding of other people’s situations.
As children of God, we are not exempt from the travails of this life. We should always try to realize that we are no different than the next person we meet on the street, in the stores, or at the doctor’s office.
In the late 1960s there was a television comedian who had a one line thought that seemed to bring a lot of laughs. He’d look into the camera and say, “What you see is
what you get.” As I reflect on his words, I realize this phrase of his sums up the idea of authenticity in a way that makes it clear that we are to be transparent before all we meet.