If we are serious about being Soul’d Out to Jesus, The Golden Rule is a good place to start—“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Mt 7:12) How would you like to be treated? It might be fun to have the attention that celebrities enjoy, to be treated like royalty, or to be adored—hugged and kissed and pampered, but that wouldn’t be genuine. Being treated with kindness and fairness are good choices also. Yet, at heart, most of us long to be respected. We want to be treated with dignity, decency—to be valued. In order to live out The Golden Rule, we must treat others with the same respect that we desire. This does not come easily or naturally. Our human inclination from birth is to satisfy and meet our own needs, to take what we want and to be self-gratifying. Learning to show respect to others requires commitment; it’s a process…a lifetime process.
Pr 15:1; Mt 5:22-24, 7:12; 1 Co 13:7; Eph 4:29; 1 Pe 2:17
“Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them.” (Mt 7:12)
Practical ways to show RESPECT: R- Remember, all people matter to God. Every person is uniquely created by the same God who created you. You will never look into the eyes of a person who doesn’t matter to God. E- Engage without alienating. Disagree without destroying. You can hold a person in high regard even though you disagree with them on an issue. S- See the best in others—don’t stereotype. Give each individual the respect of being individual…not just part of a collective label. P- Practice patience. Don’t interrupt others; listen to what they have to say. Let your words be God-honoring. Work on your vocabulary. E- Express courtesy to everyone all the time. Open doors; let others go first; look for ways to help others. Put the convenience of others before your own convenience. C- Consider carefully and seek out all information before you form an opinion. Slowly, carefully and prayerfully choose your position on an issue. Don’t react; reflect. T- Take responsibility for your words and actions. Show up when you make a commitment. Bailing out on a responsibility is disrespectful. Apologize when you are wrong or say something hurtful. If you begin practicing these steps of respect toward others, you will begin to grow into the respectful person God wants you to be.
Why is disrespect running rampant in our culture? How should we respond to the call for sensitivity and political correctness? Name someone whom you truly respect? Why do you respect them? Why should we respect ALL people? How does this challenge you? Who challenges you the most (without naming names)? How do you respect a person without validating their beliefs or actions? Describe a situation where you were disrespected. How did it make you feel? How did you react? Why do we resort to a personal, verbal assault when we debate a topic with another person?
Work on putting into practice the R-E-S-P-E-C-T acronym. Journal your success along with your failings. Determine where you need the greatest attitude adjustment. If you aren’t sure, ask a friend. Work on it.
Almighty God, Creator of all things, there is no way I can show you the honor, respect and adoration you deserve. Thank you for your great compassion to me. Help me to do unto others as you have commanded. Help me to respect and value each and every soul you have created. I know that all people have been created to love and serve you. Thank you for putting me in the right place at the right time to be a recipient of your salvation. May I, as your child, treat others with the respect and honor that your creation deserves. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.