1 Thessalonians 4:11-12…….Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
Respect seems to be something that has lost its meaning these days. The whole perception of respect has, apparently, been twisted into something that is contrary to its original concept. As a verb, respect is defined as; to hold in esteem or honour
When I was young and growing-up, I was taught to respect my elders and those in authority like policeman and teachers. Today, however, I am shocked at the lack of respect that many young people have for anyone, especially those in authority, including their parents, and even themselves.
Yet, paradoxically, the word respect has become part of popular phraseology with some of our contemporary youth culture. They seem to like the sound of the word without understanding its original meaning.
Gangland leaders demand respect, that is, they extort honour through bullying and intimidation. They do not earn respect from their peers, they command it – or else!
Maybe I am getting old and perhaps I was not so different when I was young and rebellious, but I am horrified at what I see going on around me. The boundaries of permissible adolescent behaviour have been pushed back further than I can ever remember. I know that the media can exploit this but I have seen it for myself.
Surely we, the parents and grandparents, must shoulder much of this responsibility. As Christians our role model is Jesus Christ and our guidelines must be the bible. It is not enough to be aware of this lack of respect and woefully shake our heads, shrug our shoulders and criticize. We have to do something about it.
It is far better to be an example than a judge. We will be swimming upstream against a strong contra flow of current trends, but hey, isn’t that what fish (Christians) do?
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Lord Jesus, thank you for teaching us how to have respect. Amen
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