Chuck Allen, Pastor
“R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.” TODAY’S TEACHING is all about living the life you were meant to live, and you know what? You were meant to live a life worthy of respect. It doesn’t mean you’ll always get respect, but you should live a life worthy of respect anyway. You should be a respectable person of all persons.
I looked up “Respect” on Wikipedia this week, and this is what I found…
Respect is one of the most (if not the most) important attributes for society to “maintain, yet it is hard to define. On its broadest level respect is the acknowledgment that someone has value… The importance on this value is that it changes peoples reactions towards you, usually in a positive way.” –Wikipedia
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. 12 Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.
And in 1 Timothy 3:2-3 Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
So according to the Bible, we should strive to be people who are respectable. That’s especially true for leaders in the Church, but I believe it’s true for all Christ-followers. We should all live lives worthy of respect. Maybe we’ve lost that respect at some time in the past, but from this point forward we should be worthy of respect.
Here is my firm belief- especially in light of the presidential campaign that is winding down – To be a respectable person, you must first be a respecter of persons.
Now, before we get into the heart of what I want to talk about today, let me just mention a few things that perhaps we think guarantee respect that really don’t.
– Positions don’t guarantee respect.
– Titles don’t guarantee respect.
– Age doesn’t guarantee respect.
– Experiences don’t guarantee respect.
None of those guarantee respect. Because respect is something you earn. It doesn’t simply come to you. You need to earn it.
Therefore treat other people in the same way you would like to be treated.
How would I most like to be treated? How about you? How would you most like people to treat you? 1. RESPECT 2. KINDNESS 3. FAIRLY
Decide how you would most like to be treated – now go do that. That would change the world. Respect is holding the other person in high regard and treating accordingly – Valuing people – To be treated with RESPECT is our mission in life according to Jesus – treat every person with the respect that you would like accorded to you! Matthew 7:12 Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
Just in case you don’t believe that the Golden Rule is clear enough, try on
1Peter 2:17 Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters.
This is not a suggested idea from a tree-hugging, yogi master, weed-smoking, mountain recluse that stumbled into writing a best seller on finding yourself. This is an imperative from Jesus, the Son of God, the savior of the world!
Respect Everyone Always – But How?
Babies – slapped on the bottom, Toddlers, everything is MINE, Middle Schoolers don’t naturally have respect for parents, teachers. We must learn how to become respectful – Here are a few lessons to respect everyone
- Every person is an image bearer of the most high God – Every single person you greet – Jesus voluntarily shed His blood for them. The single worst person you know of, or think you know is one prayer away from becoming your eternal sibling! The Most High God Created Them – Every Person. God really only treasures one thing in this world – PEOPLE – He treasures them – all of them. This is the foundation of living with respect. We are Treasures of the Most High God
- Respectful people learn how to differ without demonizing. We, Followers of Jesus, must learn to disagree with others positions while holding the person in high regard – This is a learned skill. The long term effects of the social media blitz of anger, bitterness and lack of regard for others has significant impact on our grandchildren’s and children’s future. With all do respect shouldn’t be a license to disrespect, it should be a 2 second prayer. to train ourselves into respecting others – always.
- Respectful people believe the best of each other. 1 Corinthians 13:7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. They’re just like us…they want peace, they want families, they want love, they want joy. To disrespect a group you do not know is to disrespect the Creator’s creation (CUBA, HAITI, ROMANIA, BLACK FAMILIES, HISPANIC FAMILIES, ASIAN FAMILIES, WHITE FAMILIES! Even Florida Fans!
- Respectful people don’t interrupt or dominate a conversation. Respectful people actually want to hear from others – Marriage (Value) Draw the conversation to good, not me.
- Respectful people guard volume and vile language Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. But this is a choice – to expunge certain words or decibel levels from their vocabulary forever. They never actually make the world better or improve a relationship. There are some words I’ll never use again. (High School – Coach Mike Strickland). The scriptures are still our guide for this folks Ephesians 4:29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. The only words we should use – build up other people. Imagine how the family, the church and the world might be better? Personal, professional, political, religion and SOCIAL MEDIA! The scriptures apply to FB, Instagram and twitter as well!
- Respectful people are courteous people. the people we respect the very most are courteous and kind. They eat last, help most and pay attention to people that they don’t even know…Salt and Light, Backpacks, Care for Aids, Haiti, Public Schools, Families in Need…Respect never demands credit, it affirms love.
- Respectful people respect themselves and those around them.
Okay, so you’ve got to respect yourself. But what does that mean? How do you respect yourself? Well, you start by recognizing who you are. You are created by God Himself in His image. He loves you and places value in you. You have talents and abilities. Maybe you’ve made it a habit to deny them and to beat up on yourself, but if you’re going to respect yourself it means that you’re going to appreciate the gifts and talents that you have. You are a Child of the Most High God! What did Jesus say was the most important rule – Love God, and love others as you love yourself!
If you respect yourself you’re going to work hard. You’re going to always strive to do your best… at work and at home with your family. And when you do mess up, or when someone criticizes, you’re not going to let it destroy you. Respect yourself. And you’ve got to respect those around you. And the way to do that is to treat them according to the Golden Rule. What’s that say? Help me out… “Do unto others…” (“As you would have them do unto you.”) That comes straight from the words of Jesus…Matthew 7:12
8. Respectful people stand firm on their convictions.
You know, there are a lot of people and a lot of pressures in life that want you to give up… that want you to turn your back on your convictions… that want you to fail. You have plenty of opportunities each and every day to give up on your convictions. But those are also opportunities to stand firm. They’re opportunities to maintain integrity. They’re opportunities to do the right thing.
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
Wall Street Journal a few years ago: “Submit to pressures from peers and you move down to their level. Speak up for your own beliefs and you invite them to come up to your level. If you move with the crowd you’ll get no farther than the crowd. When 40 million people believe in a dumb idea it’s still a dumb idea. So if you believe in something that’s good, honest, and bright stand up for it. Maybe your peers will get smart and drift your way.”
R-E-S-P-E-C-T – For Others – Always – Let’s Pray
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