Autumn Leaves 3 Column

Friday, October 14, 2011

R-E-S-P-E-C-T (Find Out What it Means to Jesus)

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”  Eph. 4: 2

 Respect: Aretha famously sang about it. Our society complains about the lack thereof.  But not long ago, I was confronted by the lack of respect within myself.  I was taught some difficult truth by a person that I, sinfully, did not value as I should.  While I am not proud of this fact, I found the Holy Spirit speaking sternly to me in my arrogance and hammered home a lesson I’m not likely to forget anytime soon!  But as usually happens when the Lord moves, the experience also allowed me to ponder the necessity of respect for others.  Even if I don’t particularly like someone, or believe that somehow I am superior, I am to treat each individual with respect.  Period.

The fact is every person is created in the image of God according to Genesis 1:27.  If I’m “completely humble and gentle” than respect is present.   In Philippians 2:3, Paul also says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,…” Frankly, that is the definition for respect: “esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person.”

How would our relationships alter if we recognized the creation made in God’s image in every individual we encountered?  What do we miss when we are unwilling to view others through the lenses of the Lord and see them as He does?  Honestly, the path to maturity is cultivated through relationships…and respect is one of our most important tools.  Thankfully, the Lord handed me that tool (again) through one of His children and altered my vision in the process.  

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