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Humility will make us stay on right path

SUNDAY MAGAZINE
By Anne Enjao | February 8th 2015
Nun kissing cardinal’s ring

I was in a volatile meeting with my former boss, and in the heat of the moment, I unintentionally called him Mister, whereupon he jumped on me, visibly angry, and said: “Do not call me Mister. I am not even a doctor. I passed that stage a long time ago.”

You see, he is a professor. For those not in the know, the title of professor is the highest one can ever attain up the academic ladder. When you attain your Bachelor’s degree, you are nothing my friend.

Next is the Master’s degree. Once upon a time, it was envious to attain this level of education. Maybe in some other countries it matters but not in Kenya.

Once you have attained your PhD (Doctor of Philosophy), you will be called Doctor. This one is prestigious.

A person can be a Doctor for many years until a university confers upon him/her professorship, mainly as a result of extensive research and work done in his/her respective field.

Sadly, the same mentality is slowly creeping into our churches.

Once upon a time, we knew one simply as a pastor or priest. Then he became Reverend Pastor.

Today we have crossed rivers and borders to call them Bishops and Archbishops.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with titles or with the progression of the same. After all, even in the secular world, people rise through the ranks. Promotion is often an excellent motivator, catapulting people into totally new realms where they shine and continue to grow.

Just to give you an example, the Anglican church has The Reverend, The Reverend Canon, The Very Reverend, The Venerable, The Right Reverend and The Most Reverend

What is absolutely wrong is elevating titles above God.

Anything we esteem above God is an idol. I often wonder: should God strip me of my professorship and return me to Form Four level and ask me to begin again at age 50, would I?

Because this is what God asked of Abraham when he commanded Abraham to sacrifice his only son, whom he had waited for ages to have.

His obedience was rewarded with a promise to be blessed immeasurably.

While we carry these titles, let us remember that it is humility that will cause us to stay right with God.

Remember the Lord exalts the humble while He resists the proud.

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