By Pastor Stephen Piersall
God's Preservation Ministry Soul Care
Did you ever say to yourself, "I respect that person, but I don't like them?" The dictionary says respect is: "to consider worthwhile of high regard." Respect is more valued by many people than being liked. "I don't care if he likes me, as long as he respects me."
Respect is important to us. Mutual respect forms the basis of, to some extent, a good relationship. If someone always does whatever you want you would think the person to be a buffoon, and they are not worthy of respect. Why do you respect one person but not another and can you get someone to respect you? What is it about them that attracts you and what do these people have in common?
In order to get my respect, people have to have some guidelines they follow in a legitimately consistent manner. They have to be sensitive to the needs of other people and not take advantage of others. Besides, they have to be concerned with their spiritual growth and development and the same for others. I will admit I’m a slow learner when you look at my past. Praying for forgiveness, wisdom and discernment are always on my daily prayer journal.
Respect can only be earned and is easily broken and difficult for us to let that individual back in our private life once it is lost. I remember my 21 years in the USAF and in spite of being a Master Sergeant, I was required to salute officers in spite of many that were junior to my age and experience. The salute showed respect to the rank and uniform not necessarily the person in it.
Self-respect is the most important kind of respect and without it; we can become sick in one way or another.
We really should not wonder if we have it or not since we can feel it inside of us. If we have very little self-respect, we probably believe we are not living up to our expectations of ourselves. Sometimes we really deserve self-respect, but we don't have it because we let someone else (parents, spouses, close friends, bosses) convince us we are not worthy of it. When we deserve self-respect but don't have it, we have to change the way we view ourselves. We have to realize that we have accepted someone else's view of ourselves and that their view is wrong. We have to take charge of our own way of looking at ourselves.
It is most likely that your respect for people and for the world in general will increase as you grow and develop spiritually. You will tend more and more to appreciate the universe for what it is and see that beauty, and perfections are more common than you thought. Spiritual growth and development come from the realization that we are not alone in this world and what we think and do affect our lives.
I am sure you have heard “walk the talk, not talk the walk.” What we think within our minds is private, but as soon as we start to “do” something with these thoughts, it becomes our walk. Consider thinking things through before acting. As a Christian, we are held to a higher standard of living. Speaking to a stranger about Jesus is a great talk and walk, but as soon as you leave, get in your car and someone cuts you off…What is your reaction then?
I want to close and leave some thoughts and prayers I have had for quite a long time now, and you know who you are. First, I forgive each of you, which has hurt me, disowned me, gossiped and lied about me. I may have ended the relationship, whether family, friends, co-workers, etc., or they may have ended a relationship with me. Either way I still forgive, and if you look at my personal prayer journal, you will find every single name of those that I know of. I seek peace and harmony in my life, and I want the same for you. God wants it for us both. How can we expect God to Bless us, yet we still carry a grudge?
Is there someone out there that owes me an apology? More importantly to me and God, is there someone out there that I have not apologized to and forgiven them? Be sure to write me. firstname.lastname@example.org †