PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Aretha Franklin sang about it.
Rodney Dangerfield never got it.
And everybody thinks they deserve it.
I’m speaking of respect.
Merriam-Webster has four definitions for “respect,” and they are, “relation or reference to a particular thing or situation,” “an act of giving particular attention,” “high or special regard,” and “particular, detail.”
And one of our Ten Commandments is about respect — “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12).
Then, on the other end of the Bible, is 1 Peter 2:17, “Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.”
Here’s the thing: no where in the dictionary definitions, or more importantly, in the two Biblical examples cited, do I see where “respect” and “agreement” are the same thing.
Yet, our modern society wants to treat “respect” and “agreement” as interchangeable terms.
And if agreement doesn’t exist, then respect is no longer valid.
That’s not how that works!
They are not inclusive!
We show respect to strangers by giving them personal space.
But news reports tell stories of people being ridiculed, mocked, and even attacked in some cases because someone wore a T-shirt the other didn’t agree with.
That’s not respect, nor should we all have to agree with one another in order to show respect.
But because our culture thinks the two go hand-in-hand, we have this kind of craziness popping up all over the news and social media!
Another example is Robert DeNiro’s recent blast of President Trump at the Tony Awards.
Besides the fact that I wish entertainers would stop using these award shows for anything beyond a simple “thank you,” that was so disrespectful.
You don’t have to like Donald Trump or agree with him, but as our president, the position he holds deserves respect.
I realize there are those who would argue with me that respect should be earned.
But if people expect respect from everyone else, shouldn’t we be willing to extend it to everyone?
In Matthew 7:12a, Jesus said, “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.”
Romans 12:1-21 instructs Christians on how we interact with each other and Romans 13:1-7 instructs Christians on being respectful to our government and leaders.
Because we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus, we have a responsibility to demonstrate respect.
Whether that person is someone we like or not, we are called to love everyone (John 13:34-35).
From the stranger on the street to our local authorities and our government leaders.
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for giving us “the Golden Rule.”
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you be respectful, even with people you disagree with.
Ask Him to help you speak with kindness in all situations and treat others the way you want to be treated.