Do We Show Respect?
There is so much conflict going on in the world around us. We see it almost every day in the news. If only we could get people to respect each other, then we would live more peacefully. Two things are constantly at work which causes conflict. The one is our own sinful flesh that always thinks it is right and others are always wrong when it comes to disagreements. In Galatians 5:19-21 God tells us what the acts of the sinful nature are, “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions and envy.” The second is Satan who loves to stir up strife and get Christians to mistreat each other.
In 1 Peter 3:8-9, Peter writes, “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing.” Living in harmony with others is often easier said than done. So what can we do to respect each other more? Where do we begin to be compassionate and sympathetic? How do we show respect to others and ourselves?
One way to help ourselves show respect is to be a better listener. Listening to what another person has to say is a basic way to respect them. Everyone wants to feel that they are being listened to. Along with listening to the other person, have an open mind. Listen to their ideas and acknowledge their viewpoint. It does not mean that you are agreeing with them, but rather you are telling them that their ideas matter. Try to look for some common ground about which you agree.
In addition, be humble, kind, and gentle when dealing with others. These are fruits of the Spirit which are given to us through hearing and learning God’s Word. When you show respect to others, you will want to be kind and gentle. Sometimes asking the question, “Why do you feel the way you do?” will go a long way instead of telling them that they are dead wrong. People tend to gravitate to others who are humble and gentle.
Finally, do not forget to respect yourself. God made each of us fearfully and wonderfully. Jesus loved us so much that he left the glory of heaven to be our substitute on earth. He lived and died for us to make us his own. We are God’s children! Out of thanks for what he did for us, may we learn to respect others and ourselves for the good of all.