We live at a time when there seems to be a lot of blame. If things don’t go right then we work out who is to blame, and don’t always take the responsibility for ourselves. Similarly we can be very good for looking after other people but not so much when it comes to looking after ourselves.
When we think about respect we often think about respecting others, and expecting respect, but don’t necessarily consider whether we are respecting ourselves. I think there are lots of reasons why this might be but that isn’t what we’re going to focus on, we’re going to try to answer the questions why should we respect ourselves and how should we respect ourselves.
Our thought for the week comes Lao Tzu and says
“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.”
Everyday we are faced with expectations, from society, from friends, from family and then this leads to expectations of ourselves. However, what our thought for the week suggests is that we should be happy with who we are, not comparing or competing. Within Christianity there is the belief that life is a gift from God, that we are all unique individuals, and when God creates he creates that things that are good. Psalm 139:13-14 says
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.”
Because we are each created by God, we should appreciate who we are, and thank God for that. How can we do that? Taking care of ourselves physically and mentally. Recognising our abilities, as they have been given to us by God, and making the most of them. If we show respect for ourselves, we are more likely to respect others and more likely to receive respect as well.
As with so many things, to see a change in the world, we often have to change ourselves.
Challenge: write a list of things that you consider to be strengths and abilities of yours
Prayer: Father God, thank you that you made each of us individually. Help us to recognise that, so that we can be content with who we are and what we can achieve. Amen