R – RESPECT (Click Here for Series Overview)
to show regard or consideration for: to respect someone’s rights
to refrain from intruding upon or interfering with: to respect a person’s privacy
Alternate Definition :
a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc., and should be treated in an appropriate way
Respect is not only showing regard for someone and treating them with admiration. Respect is knowing when to back off. Respect is knowing when to stop so you don’t interfere or go too far.
How do we show respect?
1) Respect others’ opinions:
Don’t run people down or be condescending. Right or wrong, that
is their opinion. It’s not our job to tell everyone how wrong they are. There may be times you should say something to correct a false impression. However, there are times that you may be wrong, so always check your heart before taking up the argument against another person’s opinion.
2) Respect others’ things:
Just because something is in reach doesn’t mean you should touch it. Take proper care of what belongs to others. Ask permission, don’t just assume you can use something that is not yours. (See the example of the axe head – 2 Kings 6:1-7 – the man was concerned because it was borrowed.)
3) Respect others’ privacy:
Give people some “space.” Don’t be nosy and constantly asking prying questions about their personal business. Growing up, we were taught to not look in other people’s closets, drawers, behind their shower curtains and so forth. Sadly, not everyone has had that same instruction. It’s better to not intrude and let the person invite you into private areas of his or her life.
4) Respect others’ time:
“Time is money” is not just a cute saying. Time has value. There are people who seem to purposely delay you when they know you are in a hurry. Maybe it makes them feel in control. These are what some call “delay fish.” Don’t be one. Do your best to be aware of how much time you are taking up from someone else and try not to waste it.
5) Respect others’ positions:
It’s right to address a doctor as “Doctor.” Or to use “Yes sir” and “Yes ma’am” phrases. There can be situations where you should use “Mr.”, “Mrs.” or “Miss.” — even if that person has given permission to use first names. It keeps you aware of the relationship. For example, children and young people should be respectful in how they address those older than them. Students should respect a professor or teacher’s position and so forth.
How do you get people to respect you?
You can’t force their respect. Respect is something people choose to give you. However, the Scriptures do give us some things we can do. A good rule of thumb is to start with what Jesus said:
Matthew 7:12 – Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Notice He said to do for others what you would like done for you, not treat others as they treated you. Take the first step and show respect to others.
These next two elements are also a big key to gaining respect:
Proverbs 3:3-4 NCV – Don’t ever forget kindness and truth. Wear them like a necklace. Write them on your heart as if on a tablet. Then you will be respected and will please both God and people.
People who are kind and truthful are respectable.
To sum it up, it’s actually fairly simple:
1) Respect others,
2) Be real… don’t be phony or lie to people, and
3) Just be nice!
If we’ll do those things, we’re on the road to being respectful and respectable.