with father’s day fast approaching, I’ve gotten to thinking about fatherliness, loving my fellow man and that big smacker of a word, right up there….
I’m not sure how many will admit to finding ‘respect’ a difficult thing to do. Believe me, respecting valiant, consistent, kind-worded people = generally not a problem, right?
But what about the ‘jerks’? The crabs? The people who cut you off, and cut you up?
The people you’re close enough to, to know their ins-and-outs, and wrinkles?
Those paradoxical people: pillars and pitifuls?
Well, for one: I find out they bring all of that stuff in me… once I get over complaining at how crabby they are, and remember, shoot yeah…. I guess I’m a bit inconsistent too, imperfect. Unkind, sometimes on the outside, sometimes on the inside.
It cannot be forced. People may demand it, but they can’t wriggle it out of you. They might harass you into saying it, acting it - but you never have to believe it, to mean it.
That’s right. They’ve got to earn it. Right?
Well… No, more than yes. I give my respect. It’s an act of my will. I will always have the choice to do it. But, no more than the love, that is supposed to flow freely from us in Christ, should respect for another be quenched.
If I’m waiting for someone else to catapult to my standard of good to deserve respect, I’ll be in trouble. While distracted in self-pity of the imperfect parts of another, I miss the perfection of the One who is both, Redeemer & Healer, both Lover & Honourer (or respecter) of our Souls.
Respect, just like love, is yours to willfully, unconditionally and generously give, from the outpouring of what Christ pours into you:
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. - John 13:34-35