Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The War On Respect . . .

Today as I sit up on Limestone Ridge it is raining and has been all morning long. It has been light and kind of steady. Growing up I can remember loving to stay with my grandmother and hearing the rain hit the tin roof as we drifted off to sleep at night. The RV is similar but not the same. Outside my window are eleven does feeding around and squirrels all over the place. It would seem most of their time is spent in play today as they continuously chase each other up and down trees and all over the hillside. Where do you go for a vacation when you live in a place like this?! We are truly blessed.

This morning’s study was on meditating and I have been doing some of that today along with a little wandering as well – with my thoughts that is. There is a meeting tomorrow that may have an effect on the direction of our ministry in the near future…we will see. Later this week there is a conference (Alabama Religious Educators Association) I will be attending with a friend of mine in the ministry and who will be coming on the board this year. You have heard the expression before that someone is “on top of their game”? Well he certainly is. My intention is to spend our time riding down and back getting to know him better.

There is a possibility that the hard economic times may be affecting my family in the near future and I don’t feel as prepared as I should be, which may lead to some hard decisions. If the house was sold it would sure help matters. Denise picks up her special ankle brace today and the special drugs I ordered came in as well. Hopefully this will help her ankle and we can avoid ankle fusion surgery and starting this whole recovery process all over again.

Yesterday I posted a quote on facebook from my study concerning respect and what God had put on my heart about this subject. This is one of those things where the world teaches us one thing but scripture teaches something else and the war within ourselves takes place. Like many others I was taught that respect is earned and it can be lost. We were taught to respect our elders, our teachers and the law enforcement officers. There was a certain amount of respect given to everyone. Now if someone was dishonest very often they began to lose our respect. If people were mean to us or did not show us respect, we began to hold back ours toward them as well. This has just about become the normal attitude nowadays. As a believer we are called to a higher standard and this is one of those areas where it sometimes becomes difficult.

Can you respect someone you don’t agree with or even like? The answer is yes; we can certainly show them respect. What makes a person respectable or easy to respect? Well let’s look at Respect’s two cousins named Dependability and Consistency. I can give my respect to someone who has a belief or characteristic about themselves, even if I don’t agree with, if they are consistent. Let me use an example from the workplace. Let’s say that you have someone who is always lazy and does the minimum in their job and really has to be made to conform to the rules. Somehow, sometime down the road, this person gets promoted and they become a stickler for the rules or maybe even become a slave driver. Get the picture here? Or say management tries to enforce rules that don’t apply to themselves. Now if someone has always been a hard worker or go-getter and then gets promoted why would anyone expect this character trait to not still be present? No doubt about it Consistency is related to Respect and he has other relatives as well which we won’t get into until another day. What about Dependability? If this younger cousin fails to show up enough times he will not only become lost but people will stop looking for him. You may hear statements like “can’t count on him,” or “they are never on time”. This is a shame too, because it is so easy to have Dependability move in with you and stay. I once read that a person who is always late is subconsciously saying, “My time is more important than yours.” It’s all a matter of Will, who by the way is a dominator and is constantly trying to be king of our life.

De-programming, or changing our thoughts and lifelong behaviors, takes much effort. When we can give our respect to those who have not earned it or we feel do not deserve it we are pleasing the Lord. We are called to be a different people, one set apart, and this is an area where we need all the help we can get sometimes. The Lord has sent us a helper for situations such as these, called the Holy Spirit. When we give our respect to those folks, it has the possibility of opening a door someday to share the reason why we follow a different drummer. I go back in my mind to Luke 6:32-33, which covers so many things, “If you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to only those who do good to you what credit is that to you, for even sinners do the same.”

1 comment:

Denise :) said...

A lot of food for thought! Good post. :)