Thursday, June 26, 2008

it's all about respect - part 3

If we don't understand what God means about respect, I wonder how well we can know Him. Here is part 1 of this mini-series and here is part 2.

Today is part 3 of my husband's study on respect.

II. SHOWING RESPECT: When I am with a person. . .
REMOVE THE NEGATIVES: (when communicating – whether in a conversation face to face, on the phone, or in a letter/ I.M. /e-mail)
No interrupting
No sarcasm with the intent to hurt
No attacks or unjust accusations
No "mind reading" (assuming you know what they’re thinking, or what they’re going to say, or inappropriately filling in their words)
No unnecessary raising of the voice for purposes of intimidating
No demanding (requests are acceptable – but that means no manipulation if the request is denied).
No ignoring (deliberately or mindlessly); instead, show respect by paying attention – giving eye contact, being attentive
No imposing my will on you – through manipulation; persuasion is O.K. unless I go over the line and the other person says, "I’m feeling pressured/violated – would you back off." Then, it’s time to back off

Thinking the best of the person (Made in the Image of God, their uniqueness, their qualities) – giving the benefit of the doubt;

Get some understanding of the person: his/her background, circumstances, giving honor (valuing the person)

Listening – feeding back what is said – making it a first goal to get the person’s whole story (to understand);

to work at this until the person speaking can say, "You got what I’m saying"Accepting that person where they are at (assessing where they really are – not where they "should be"), then accepting; sticking to agreements – not bailing and making arbitrary decisions (contrary to prior agreements) when the heat is on;

make your word your bond and keep adjusting the agreements in a proper way – not midstream, but keep my word and later discuss and readjust one on one.

Staying within boundaries – that a person has defined; respect means to accept those boundaries without challenging them, without mocking or judging the person for setting them, but accepting that "this is where the person is at."

Being thankful because this person took the time to shown me respect by taking the first step and clearly defining those boundaries (so I don’t have to guess or wonder)

SCRIPTURES ON RESPECT:A. UNEARNED RESPECT TOWARD ALL, BECAUSE WE ARE IN GOD’S IMAGE: James 3:9-10 "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be."

This eliminates all racism, pre-judging, and sets the stage for God’s love to be displayed. You can’t love someone you’ve already judged as unworthy of His love.

TOWARD ALL THOSE WHO ARE IN AUTHORITY: Rom 13:1-9 "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for anything. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.

TOWARD THOSE WHO ARE OLDER – THE ELDERS (the elders being shown no respect is a sign of God’s judgment for their sin) Lam 5:11-16 "Women have been ravished in Zion, and virgins in the towns of Judah. Princes have been hung up by their hands; elders are shown no respect. Young men toil at the millstones; boys stagger under loads of wood. The elders are gone from the city gate; the young men have stopped their music. Joy is gone from our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning. The crown has fallen from our head. Woe to us, for we have sinned!"

1 Peter 5:5-6 "Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

TOWARD THE LEADERS IN THE CHURCH (or even synagogue)Heb 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Acts 23:1-5 Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, "My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day." At this the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, "God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!" Those who were standing near Paul said, "You dare to insult God's high priest?" Paul replied, "Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: `Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people." Paul feared violating God’s word and repented.

NOTE: WE DO NOT MINDLESSLY GIVE RESPECT TO ALL THOSE WHO THINK THEY DESERVE IT (whether earned or unearned) – especially if they are demanding it and are telling us to violate our conscience or violate God’s law)

Acts 5:27-29 Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name," he said. "Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood." Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!

GOD DEALS WITH THOSE WHO MISUSE THEIR POSITIONS (but not always this immediately): Acts 12:21-24 "On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, "This is the voice of a god, not of a man." Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died. But the word of God continued to increase and spread.

SUBORDINATION IS NOT EVIL. JESUS IS SUBORDINATE TO THE FATHER (John 8:29, 10:29): Eph 5:21 "…submitting to one another in the fear of God."

In this passage God commands those in a subordinated position to submit to those in authority: wife to husband, children to parents, employees to employers.

Husbands are commanded to love their wives, parents are to not provoke their children but to nurture them, and bosses are to stop abusing their employees and to deal with them in light of their own Master, Jesus Christ.

In this way, our relationships are telling His story - how God displays His glory through our working together within our positions.

TOWARD ALL, WITH BOSSES: 1 Peter 2:17-18 "Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king. Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh."

Titus 2:9-10 "Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive."

Eph. 6:5-7 "Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart."

1 Tim 6:1-2 "All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God's name and our teaching may not be slandered. Those who have believing masters are not to show less respect for them because they are brothers. Instead, they are to serve them even better, because those who benefit from their service are believers, and dear to them. These are the things you are to teach and urge on them."

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