Do You Respect Others? — Morning Devotions – Hope 103.2

Do You Respect Others? — Morning Devotions

We all want to be respected. We must start by respecting ourselves. Then respect others by treating them the way we want us to be treated.

Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.

By Chris WittsSaturday 20 Feb 2021Morning Devotions with Chris Witts

I want to talk for a moment about this little word ‘respect’. What is it anyway? The word respect [in the Bible] is a translation of the Greek word timēsate, meaning honor or value. It literally means ‘to place a great value or high price on something’.

Interestingly, today we tend to place our values on our personal rights and the equality of humanity. Somehow we expect everyone to have respect for us—but what happens when we find it too hard to respect certain people?

Life would be simple if we lived on a desert island away from others. But every day we are in relationships with people. People we enjoy spending time with like family, friends, and even co-workers—and also with people that drive us mad. These people can bring stress into our lives. Some of these people we wished would go bother someone else. This may be a family member or a distant relative that we only have to see a few times a year. Maybe it is a co-worker who just continues to add stress to our already stressful life. Or maybe it’s that friend who just won’t leave you alone. How can you respect people like that?

Deep down inside of us we want to be respected. In relationships with people, I believe we want to be respected and appreciated. It’s all about maintaining a healthy relationship with other people. I want my adult kids to respect me. I want them to hear what I have to say and listen. As a husband, I want my wife to respect me for the things I do. I want my wife to be proud of me. Just as my wife wants me to love her and respect her for the things she does in our relationship.

Respecting Yourself

I have an idea that firstly you need to have respect for yourself. And that is very important.

As the result of a broken spirit, many people lack confidence or esteem. Some were verbally abused as children; others have endured insults from a spouse, friend or boss. Whatever the reason, the person feels inferior to those around him. How should I treat myself, and how should I feel about myself? Am I to view myself as superior to everyone else?

Respecting yourself means giving and defining your own worth and value as a human being. Think about this: if you do not respect yourself, it will be more difficult for you to respect anyone else. So it all begins with self-respect. And taking proper care of yourself. Being honest, reliable, accepting personal responsibility for your own conduct—and much more. Self-respect is about discovering and building up who you really are and building up your own character. It’s much easier to respect who you are when you’re not pretending to be what you’re not. Eventually, you’ll come to hate the pretense. That’s called being a fake person.

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Respecting yourself is important because if you don’t respect yourself, others won’t either.

The Christian teaching is important here: God gave you gifts and talents and expects you to do something with them. Don’t neglect them to take care of others or minimise them by deciding they are unimportant. Instead, work on accepting yourself just as God made you—rather than putting yourself down and comparing yourself to others. And figure out how to fulfill the purpose that God made you for by using your talents wisely.

Respecting yourself is important because if you don’t respect yourself, others won’t either.

Showing Respect for Others

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul writes, “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other” (Romans 12:10 – NLT). Honouring others is another way of saying respecting others. Why should we bother to respect everyone? After all, some people don’t deserve it. I know—it’s a challenge. But here’s the rub: respect must not be contingent upon a person’s achievements or abilities, but solely because they’re made in the image of God.

A tremendous passage to read is 1 Corinthians 13. It talks about what love looks like. And verse 5 says, “love is not proud”. The New International Version of the Bible renders the same verse 5 as “[love] does not dishonor.” To dishonour someone you first have to disrespect them. Dishonour is shaming, humiliating or degrading someone while disrespect is a lack of respect, esteem or courteous behaviour—gracious consideration toward others; not treating someone with high worth or value. And God’s ways are different to many of our theories on how to treat others.

[Jesus says] Do for other people what you would like to have them do for you. (Luke 6:31 – NLV)

So, if the Bible is telling us that godly love is not proud and love doesn’t dishonour, or disrespect, others, then godly love always involves respect. Showing godly respect starts with our mindset. We must settle in our heart that all mankind is God’s precious property because they are his creation made in his image. We must look at every man and woman as God views them. He loves each person so much that he sent his only Son Jesus Christ to die a criminal’s death on a cross to take the punishment of our sins.

That is real love. Respecting others boils down to simply treating them the way we should be treated. Jesus said, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise” (Luke 6:31 – KJV).