What you wantth-9
Baby, I got
What you need
Do you know I’ve got it
All I’m askin’
Is for a little respect

Find out what it means to me
– Otis Redding and Anquette Corte Allen
If we could put into one word that thing that is missing the most in the marketplace today, it would be found, in the words of Aretha Franklin, in that magical word spelled R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

We live today in the most polarized society in memory, and it seems to be getting worse, not better. It’s almost impossible to hold to a nuanced point of view. When the truth is in a gray area, and the only options are black or white, it makes it hard to even engage in conversation with someone.

What will set us apart as Christians and hopefully open a way for the gospel, is to be a people who respect everyone’s right to be who they are and believe what they believe. If we want anyone to pay attention to what we believe, we must first seek to understand and respect what they believe. Children, respect your parents. Parents, respect your children. Husbands, respect your wives, and wives, respect your husbands.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this where you live, but the kids in our neighborhood show an appalling lack of respect for adults, private property, and in some cases each other. We’re not teaching our kids respect, or if we are, they aren’t getting it.

The most popular shows on television seem to be the reality shows that tear people down. This is simply the climate that we are in today. In politics, we tear down the opposing point of view; we demonize the other party.

Of course we will always be in conflict; conflict is inevitable in life, but conflict need not encroach upon the respect of others, and the solutions we are seeking to our conflicts must come by way of respect for the other person and point of view. If you are unsure of how to treat someone who disagrees with you, start with respect. If you are unsure how to treat even someone in your own family, start with respect. Someone at work you don’t get along with? A little respect goes a long way toward building and strengthening any relationship.

“Just a little bit…” sings Aretha, “Just a little bit…” A little bit is better than none at all.

May we be known in the marketplace as those who hold a high level of esteem for others.

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (1 Peter 3:15,16)

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9 Responses to R-E-S-P-E-C-T

  1. Mark Seguin says:

    Luv to add a big yes & Amen to this: “hopefully open a way for the gospel, is to be a people who respect everyone’s right to be who they are and believe what they believe. If we want anyone to pay attention to what we believe, we must first seek to understand and respect what they believe.”

  2. Linda from Texas says:

    “we must first seek to understand and respect what they believe” – I can seek to understand what someone believes, but I cannot respect what they believe. I cannot “feel or show honor or esteem” for anything that is not the truth. Please tell me, someone, if I have the wrong attitude. I can show love and have an honest interest in what someone believes, but how can I respect something that is false?

    • Mark Seguin says:

      Linda I’ll not tell you that you have the wrong attitude. How u like to feel and think is entirely your business. I’ll jus ask u how do u feel if someone cannot show u respect for your beliefs? Surely what they believe, they think/feel it’s true to them, right – Or I’ll phrase it this way – How do u feel when someone tells u your wrong? It’s hard to give or show respect then isn’t it? Therefore, maybe try to put yourself in their shoes…

      • Linda from Texas says:

        Thank you, Mark, for your time and response. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about all this. I can respect the person and respect their rights to their point of view even if I don’t respect their point of view. And I don’t tell them they’re wrong – I just pray for them!

  3. Linda from Texas says:

    Today is a new morning and I came to apologize. John and Mark displayed pictures of love and I painted an ugly picture with no love. I awoke this morning with a red face and humbled heart. I can respect all day long but if I don’t have love, well… you know the rest. I’m so glad God loves me enough to discipline.

  4. johnhaak says:

    Ephesians 2:6, 7 … “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” God’s plan is to show grace and kindness. My new question from all this is … “Do people go away from me having experienced some graciousness?”

  5. I believe what John wrote today. My big issue is not with those outside of faith but with those in it that represent the cult I one was a part of.
    Christians deserve love and respect even when thay are wrong and outside the teachings of Christ.
    Inside our own blanket of faith there is as much need for respect as there is need for those outside our church walls.
    Something happens to me when a fundamentalist starts talking and respect is low on the list and that’s a problem.
    Introduce me to Marilyn Manson and I’d look at him like someone that had something to say, introduce me to a evangelical fundamentalist and I cringe away feeling like I just met someone dirty.
    I bring this up because I believe it is a problem in our Christian culture and it is a two way street.
    After beginning to read and listen to some of Frank Schaeffer it is even more on my mind.

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