Do you remember that period of time when people would knock their fists together whilst saying “respect”? I never did and still don’t really understand it. I may not have understood it but it was there and the word was said A LOT. However, the more I think about it the more I realise people only seemed to do this when they agreed with something that someone said or did, which gives the wrong sense of what respect is, in my opinion.
Over this final term we will be looking at respect, what respect is and why it is important in different areas of our lives. We are starting off with asking the question – what is respect?
The dictionary definitions are
a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others.
As these definitions show, respect is appreciating something that has been achieved by someone, something they are able to do, but also recognising others as fellow humans. It is probably the second definition that we use the most and warranted the fist bump. But my question is, do we expect respect and should that be the case? Our thought for the week comes from Hussein Nishah who says
“Treat people the way you want to be treated. Talk to people the way you want to be talked to. Respect is earned, not given.”
How often have you heard the statement “people today show no respect”? Why is that? Should it be an expectation? Is it because they haven’t been shown respect? Is it because they don’t understand?
The thought for the week suggests we shouldn’t just expect respect, but that we will see respect given when we too, have shown respect. Maybe people are less respectful, but because they haven’t been shown respect themselves. I think this is probably our biggest challenge, to demonstrate respect to all, which will then result in respect for all, but someone needs to start it off.
When Paul was writing to the early Church of Rome he said
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.”
Again showing we shouldn’t wait to be respected or honoured, we should respect and honour others first.
Challenge: Is there an area of your life where you see a lack of respect? How can you start the respect ball rolling?
Prayer: father God thank you that you love each and everyone of us unconditionally. Help us to see everyone else through your eyes and love others, even if that isn’t being shown to us. Amen