I was a pastor of a church for nearly 40 years. People usually called me “Pastor Dave.” My role as a minister was, as you can probably imagine, a major part of my identity. I often wondered what it would be like to live life without being “Pastor Dave.” Now I know, having been retired for over two years.
For many of those years our daughter Julie was known as “the pastor’s daughter” and our son Dan was known as “the pastor’s son.” We now live half the time near our daughter and her family where I’m known as “Julie’s father.” The other half of the time we live near our son and his family where I’m known as “Dan’s father.” Things sure have changed!
We all have titles and roles that help define who we are, but to what extent should they? Who are we, really? Yes, we are known by the work or job we do and the roles we play as mate, parent, child, grandparent, friend, neighbor, avid fan of a certain sports team, etc, but is there something more to us than the sum of our titles and roles?
I’m coming to a deeper realization of who I am, or am supposed to be, at my core. It’s something I’ve known all along, and as a pastor I preached regularly. I also believe it’s a universal fact that should apply to every human being, because it’s a truth made clear in the Bible. Drum roll…. and here it is! We’re to be a child of God’s!
When we embrace the amazing truth that we can be the recipient of the astonishing love of God, can give Him delight beyond our wildest dreams by loving Him back, and can partner with Him in carrying out His amazing plans, then we can begin to grasp something of who we were really meant to be!
Yes, we all have various titles and roles we live out. They partly define who we are, but there’s absolutely nothing better than to know we’re God’s person!
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)