“I ain’t gonna do you wrong while you’re gone…All I’m asking for is a little RESPECT…” those are the lyrics Aretha Franklin sang as a declaration of her strength and confidence to a man that she never does him wrong and demands his respect. In other words, her actions were enough to earn his honor.
Webster defines respect as a feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important, etc.
My question is… What if the person isn’t important or isn’t good? What if the person is struggling with the four things our Church has been called to war against – racism, poverty, sexual immorality and religion? What if the person has clearly different political views than us?
Do we not show them respect and only extend grace? The answer is NO!
According to the world’s definition, respect is earned. Yet, the word states differently.
I Peter 2:17 (MSG) “Treat everyone you meet with dignity (respect). Love (respect) your spiritual family. Revere (respect) God. Respect the government.”
Biblical respect isn’t based on a person adding up to what we deem as valuable, relevant or in agreeance with our social stance.
Biblical respect is recognizing that people’s souls are of more value. Philippians 2:3 (NLT) “Be humble (respectful), thinking of others as better than yourselves.”
As we walk out our daily lives, it’s important that we walk out “Christ-like” (Christian) lives that are examples of showing respect to others.
Lives that aren’t filled with the “ifs” or “buts;” on the other hand, lives that reflect Romans 12: 9-1 (NLT): “Don’t just pretend to love (respect) others. Really love (respect) them… Love (respect) each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring (respecting) each other.”
Respectfully Your Sister,