"Call Me Stuart!" (Romans 8:16-17)

My residency training observed a strict hierarchy amongst the attending physicians and professors and resident physicians. We were instructed to address all attending physicians as Doctor. Some habits die hard. Even after we graduated and left the program, most of us felt uncomfortable to address former attendings and professors by their first names.

One professor made it easy for all of us. I had not interacted with him for about 5 years, since graduation. One day, I consulted with him about a problematic case which I was reviewing. I called him on the phone and when he answered in his familiar voice, I replied, “Hi Dr. Smith! It’s Paul.”

Without missing a beat, he said, “It’s Stuart. Call me Stuart.”

The silence on the phone betrayed my obvious confusion.

“Paul, when you were a resident, it was Dr. Smith. Now that we are colleagues, we are on a first name basis.”

Got it!  We were now equals and colleagues, regardless of whether I felt I deserved to be dignified with that status. I felt privileged and apprehensive at the same time-privileged to be considered an equal, apprehensive that I would not live up to his expectations.

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Romans 8:16-17 (ESV)

Privileged and apprehensive. This is how I sometimes feel as a believer in Jesus Christ and a child of God. By trusting in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I have been adopted as a fellow heir with Jesus Christ; God views me as His son. I am privileged to be dignified with this status. I am also apprehensive since I know I always do not live up to the expectations of God. By my own efforts, I will never live up to God’s expectations nor would I even deserve to be viewed as worthy to stand before Him. I am a sinner by birth and nature. It is only by the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ that I am able to be accepted as a child of God. I have the privilege to address God as my Father. And I need not be apprehensive because God continues to transform and conform me to the image of His Son Jesus Christ, through the renewing and sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit.


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.