Aretha Franklin said it best...R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me... And then Merriam Webster revealed that that it's "showing regard or consideration for." But how often does our society think within the context of respect? Just take about five minutes and read the headline articles on any given day...another 2 month celebrity marriage, a political figure bashing another political figure, a senseless lawsuit...the list goes on. In many ways, respect has become an ancient theory that is only brought out in speeches and funerals. But all is not doom and gloom when it comes to respect. There are still those that understand the concept and strive to put it into action. Whether it's a child taking the trash out when asked, or a friend keeping confidence, or even a young couple in love sitting down with a golden anniversary couple to hear stories of what makes love and marriage last...respect is still happening. In 1 Timothy 5, Paul had some pretty strong words for Timothy when it came to honor and respect. He didn't exclude anyone from the receiving end of respect. From peers to the elderly everyone was included. In the first three verses he sets out to remind us that those around us, young and old, deserve respect. It's even fascinating to me that he just assumes that we should be respectful to our parents and siblings. (Treat these people with respect...just like you do your parents, brothers, and sisters). He goes on to remind us how important it is to honor and respect widows by taking care of them, especially if they are part of our own family. In fact, I really don't want to be on the side of not taking responsibility for the relatives in my own family after Paul's remarks in verse 8. Paul continues a little later by reminding us the importance of honoring the elders. He then finishes off in the first couple of verses in chapter 6 by speaking to the issue of slave/master (boss/employee) relationships. Respect is a big deal! And it's not just reserved for those who "earn it." It is across the board. Respect takes a lot of humility and a lot of grace. True Biblical respect goes against cultural norms. How does it look? It's choosing not to make that cutting remark to your buddy, even though it would bring a few laughs. It's responding to your parents with positivity. It's celebrating the achievements of your children. It's spending time with those that have gone before us and assisting them with the things they can no longer do on their own. It's not selling someone out for five minutes of gossip time. And you know what all this accomplishes? It creates a safe place of honor for yourself and others to find the heart of Jesus. Because in a community of mutual respect, healing happens.
Family Challenge: Talk about ways in which you can respect each other within your family. Make it a family project to take care of someone elderly in your own family or that has no family.
Check it Out...
Jr High Connect Weekend :: This Friday and Saturday :: $20 per person
ONE Weekend :: March 11-12 :: Mega Concert and Community Outreach
Magic Mountain :: March 18-20 :: $135 per person