"We're On A First Name Basis Here!' (Romans 8:14-16)

When I began my dermatopathology fellowship, we had a meeting of the entire department. The chief of pathology welcomed us and, after introducing the other faculty, smiled and said, “We’re on a first name basis here! In fact, if I call you by your last name, you’ll know I am upset with you!” This policy carried over to all levels of the department. Even the secretaries were instructed to address all physicians by their first name.


This was quite a different culture for me compared to my medical school and residency. A strict hierarchy was observed during my earlier years of training. All resident physicians, regardless of their level of training, were addressed as Doctor. And all professors were addressed as doctors by residents and fellows.


While I was gradually able to address faculty who were closer in years to myself by their first names, I was definitely uncomfortable addressing older faculty in the same manner. In fact, one senior professor had written the pathology textbooks that I used as a medical student and resident! Never would I refer to him by his first name! I simply had too much respect for him, his stature, and his accomplishments.


For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

Romans 8:14-16 (ESV)


Like some of my pathology professors, I would never presume to speak to God with a familiarity of a colleague or friend, but this is exactly what God offers to me. To address God as Father, because He has adopted me, is a privilege beyond comprehension. And addressing Him as Abba is such an intimate term, one that Jewish children would use to address their own fathers, that I would never have considered it. And yet, this what God offers. The God of the Universe wants to have an intimate relationship with me! He wants me to call out to Him as Abba...Daddy!


He offers this privilege to everyone who confesses and repents of their sins and places their trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. God places me on a first name basis with Him through faith in Jesus Christ!


Abba! Father!


Praise God for His grace and mercy to me!


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