When I’m in the pulpit, I’m the respected preacher people come to learn from.
When I’m in the Toyota dealership for a car repair, I’m a buffoon without a clue.
When I’m playing a multiplayer online game of Uncharted: Drake’s Deception, I’m cannon-fodder, a noob.
When I’m holding Shauna’s hand, I’m none of these things. But I’m her Bradley, her knight in shining armour, her soul-mate.
When my daughter throws her arms around my neck and gives me a squeeze, I’m daddy, I’m blessed, and that says a lot.
When I saunter into Starbucks when Shauna is working, I’m “Shauna’s husband.”
When I’m in staff meeting with my guys, I’m the Team Leader.
When I lose my temper with my kids, I’m a man struggling with his flesh crying out for grace.
In the Twittersphere, I’m just one of millions of voices in an exponential sea of updates.
When I’m out for wings, I’m one of the guys.
I don’t fill the same role in every situation. Nor should I. I fill a different niche in pretty much every circumstance I find myself in.
I’d love to just “be myself” all the time, but a different part of me is needed depending on where I am, who I’m with, and what I’m doing. The church service gets a part of me that rarely makes an appearance at home, for example. I don’t preach at my kids, I talk to them. I’m not their pastor, I’m their dad. And as long as I’m not pretending, every one of these roles, these “me-s” I play are part of the living mosaic that is Brad.
There are things that must be true of us wherever we are, no matter who we’re with, no matter what we’re doing—our character, our integrity, our essential bent, our union with Christ. But when people fail to grasp that a different aspect of who they are is called for in every situation, things get weird.
When the preacher shows up for wings, conversation shuts down.
When I play the “Shauna’s husband” role in staff meeting, they look at me like I have four heads.
When people don’t adjust their language when kids are listening, we’re shocked.
When people use the same biting sarcasm no matter who they’re with, we’re appalled.
When people show up to a job interview dressed like Saturday morning, they’re shown the door.
When I just want to be a regular person, but they say, “Hey, you’re the pastor, could you pray for the meal?” I sigh inside.
We need to learn to ask, “Which part of me is needed here?” and offer that.
What do you think? Can you relate to this idea?