Respecting One Another — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Respecting One Another — Morning Devotions

Every human being deserves respect, but what does it mean to respect someone? And why is it such a crucial part of relationships?

By Chris WittsMonday 23 Jan 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was embraced by the UN General Assembly in Paris back in 1948. And its objective was to give status deserving of respect for all individuals around the world. No one was to be excluded. To feel respected could be considered a basic human right. We take that for granted today. Disrespect is a very important thing that can lead to break ups and violence. And it is a big issue. But what is respect?

It means that you accept somebody for who they are, even when they’re different from you or don’t agree with you. The popular singer Adele said, “I don’t care if you’re black, white, short, tall, skinny, rich or poor.” She said, “If you respect me, I’ll respect you.” Often respecting others won’t come naturally. You’ve got to work at it. I think a good rule is to treat others the way you would like to be treated because no two people are the same.

This word respect originally came from the word ‘respectus’ meaning, attention, consideration of regard.

And if we don’t regard others, they won’t respect us. Mutual respect, it’s very important. Showing and practising respect for yourself and other people allows you to have a better connection, whether it be your professional relations or personal. A respectable behaviour allows you to connect and to understand other people much better. And when they feel respected and understood, they respect you in return. And that results in a good relationship.

I remember a fine quote from Malcolm S. Forbes, who said, “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” So keep this fixed in your mind, often showing respect and showing kindness are really one and the same thing.

And don’t we all deserve kindness. When I demonstrate respect for you, I increase the influence I have in your life. I probably have never met you, but if I did, I would show you respect. And hopefully you would respect me in a marriage. For example, if there is respect, there will be harmony and happiness, a shared desire to help one another, and the man and woman’s love for each other will deepen. Sometimes I’ve heard people say he hasn’t earned my respect, and I must admit to saying that myself.

But really, it’s a fair thing to say we can slip into this way of thinking yet it’s not the way God wants us to think. Is there a Christian viewpoint on respecting one another? Well, actually, there is. We need to have a different attitude. We can be aware of somebody else’s faults and there may be times when we need to discuss problems or confront the attitude of somebody. And yet the Bible tells us we need to maintain an attitude of respect for everyone.

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So that’s the issue that really matters. Every person was born in God’s image, and that’s in Genesis 9:6 in the Bible.

So you and I are both equal in God’s sight. I have no right to disrespect you. We should acknowledge that others have weaknesses. You won’t be able to relate well to everybody. It’s not possible, and their viewpoint might be different to yours. So how are you going to react? I might feel angry and judgmental and take things too personally, but God wants us to learn a new way of responding, and the Bible says in Ephesians 4:2-3: “Be completely humble and gentle. Be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.” What a marvelous verse. “Bear with each other. Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive, as the Lord forgave you.” And that’s in Colossians 3.

They are powerful words that can change the direction of your life and mine because God has called us to be genuinely concerned about others. Others over ourselves. And when we look at people with love and concern, we’re less likely to take offence. If they do or say something wrong, pray for them instead of reacting with anger. It’s not your business to judge the motive of another person simply because you could be completely wrong. So do you show respect for others?

Let’s Pray

Dear God, thank you for each day. Help us to respect and tolerate everyone, including those that are different to us. Help us to be kind and patient with one another, to show respect, to help us to be fair and kind. Help me to cooperate, to be helpful and listen to others today, amen.