Respect, Honor and Leadership
Just because you “think” you know the definition of certain words, does not guarantee you know them. Having been told I should show this person or that one respect I must weigh that upon the actual definition of the word.
Respect as a Noun; is a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
Respect as a Verb; is to admire (someone or something) deeply, as a result of their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
Both definitions are the result of the person demanding respect, to have done, or in the process of doing, something honorable. While that leaves the door wide open on the subject matter, it often becomes more of an expectation, with built in ego, and not about results.
Which character traits should I be respecting and which ones should I be disregarding?
Certainly this is a big list for one to choose from.
On a recent trip to a grocery store my daughter was trying to “help” at the checkout lane and was told to stop and move out of the way. We had several items that required stronger more adept handling than her shorter frame would allow. There were 24 packs of water, bags of softener salt and other heavy items.
The arguing began and when her mother backed up to place more items on the belt she inadvertently stepped on my daughters foot. This caused the crying and chaos and the exacting reaction the daughter was not ready to receive, discipline.
When the cashier had finished and was commending me on my savings thru the coupons she offhandedly shared; her compliment of my daughter’s willingness to help came with the comment “you should have just let her help”.
My answer was not what she expected as I said “it is not about the helping that I am concerned it is the willful nature in opposition to my directions”. To which, I received an obvious eye-roll and the cashiers opinion, “being strong willed will help her to go far in the world”.
The eye-roll and the additional comment would have most of the planet agreeing with one another, especially in light of the smiling face and silvery hair “grandmother” delivering such “sage” advice. This where this woman lost my respect. She was not delivering advise, she was delivering a worldly opinion based, in fallen human behavior, and promoting SIN.
1 John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”
Exodus 20:12 “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”
So I ask her “What does God say about willful people? What did God do to willful people?” and the answer was “I do not know, and…” Stopping her mid-sentence many would consider that to be rude and disrespectful but she was not displaying behavior worthy of my respect.
Having read her name tag I addressed her by name (respect) and told her the following: “Marianne, the God of the universe has always asked the people of this world to be Obedient to Him first. It is through that obedience we will learn how to be better leaders and lovers of His people. It is a matter of training and discipline of our own behavior that will allow us to meet the expectations of the Most Holy One.
He calls us His children and he expects us to listen to Him and do His will. That is why He calls us to duplicate His behavior hereon earth, so that, we can pass along these habits to our children and learn to live among other in Heaven. When the children become unruly and disobedient He removes His protection and benevolence, which, ultimately leads to the own destruction. Hence the phrase “you are digging your own grave”.”
Marianne stood stone cold and a bit stunned.Going on I said, “We live in a world where people demand respect based on a position alone, or a title alone, or at the point of a gun, none of which prove the results of their deserving our respect.
Whether a politician, a parent or a member of the general public, respect is given as a result of the results! Your bloated biceps may gain you respect in the gym or on the ball field, but in the rest of your life they “carry no weight” (pun intended).
Your elected position is one based on servanthood not dispensation, show me you are here to respect the Ultimate Authority and I will show you your respect. Tom Brady, quarterback of the New England Patriots, wants to be known as the greatest player at his position, and this after his scandalous career wrought with cheating and deception. No Thanks and no respect for ole Tom.
Even as the parent I do not automatically get respect, in like manner, the results of my life must be in alignment to the will of God and be in submission to His pattern of behavior. Marianne, people must be worthy to be respected, Good Day madame.”
My lovely wife was nearly as shocked as the clerk. Oh Well.
The 10 commandments were established as a guide for human behavior.* The 1st half are how we are to obey God in His personage, the 2nd half is how we obey God in living with His people. Jesus Christ said he came not to abolish the laws but in fulfillment [the teaching] of the laws.
*(The universal discernment, that of of the Bible being divided, old and new, when it is really one continuous narrative will be another discussion.)
Jesus was asked “what about your mother, brothers and sister?” and His reply stunned the world. “Who are my brothers, mother and sister, but those that do the will of my Father”. Jesus tells us directly that obedience is the key to relationship to God. The more we seek after God, and His attributes, the more we are able to reflect those attributes towards others.
What if everyone you walked into contact with today had the grace and mercy of God?
What if they displayed power and strength and did it in loving kindness?
This is not “magically” gained through osmosis, it is a learned lifestyle in disciplining your mind to eliminate worldly lifestyles and training yourself in the expectations of God. The results of this lifestyle emote the truth of God and manifest the type of behavior other people find attractive.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
At the end of the day, yes respect is earned, only as a review of your results makes it evident you are following the will of God.
The Ten Commandments include honoring father and mother and with that comes the reminder of Jesus’ words “they are the ones that do the will (follow after, obey) of the Father God”. I have to ask myself what does that look like?
Is that allowing the child to dictate the actions of the family unit?
- The complete dismissal of the actions surrounding your faith, like Sabbath, to the travel league schedule?
- The personal worship and Bible study time to the career building?
- The lack or maybe complete absence of penitent prayer to change our own willful and disobedient lifestyle, banking on grace while continuing in the disobedient ways.
Honor, in like manner as respect, are both borne out of the evidence of one’s life. A person must do something that emotes honor from another person.
I have a friend that has served in the military and received injuries on behalf of all our freedom. I honor his life for his payment of my freedom in society. There are many other aspects of his life I do not hold as honorable and I do not bring those to light with the same respect and purpose as they are not honorable.
Honor is defined by Webster as: respect that is given to someone who is admired, good reputation: good quality or character as judged by other people, high moral standards of behavior.
These character traits do not define the world in which we currently live. How am I to honor those individuals that dishonor the lives of other people, let alone, the dishonor they display towards God?
The writer to the church in Rome, Paul, say this: “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.”
The results of their lives are visible, iti is the world over the Divine. Paul continues, “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator”. The same examples as before can be seen plainly in Paul’s writings.
How many people have you heard talking in disgust over the younger generations?
It was common practice in my youth to hear parents say “Those darn teenagers are so ____”….. this has not stopped in more than 30 years.
As in my day, so it is today, and in the day that Paul scribed the Letter to the Romans: “They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, and no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”
So what are you asking your children to do? Follow your leadership? Why?
Is the evidence of your life worthy of following? Do you tell them to obey the rules of the road and then display for them speeding, texting while driving, road rage, towards the other drivers? Is that worthy of their following, or honor, or respect?
Do you constantly remind them that God controls all blessings and then watch as you destroy the blessing by handling them with contempt? Do you display every prayer as a laundry list of wants like God was manifest as a vending machine?
Is it any wonder the child wants out of the grasp of your discernment and disciple when you, as the parent and example setter, are displaying the same behavior towards God?
Is the travel league ball more important than eternity with God? Is the 40 or so years owning a boat, lake dock and lake house, going to be better than eternity with God in His home?
The Bible say to “train up a child in the ways of the Lord and they shall not depart from it.
If you want your respect, your honor and your leadership to be recognized,….. let me ask you, ……are you giving the respect, honor and leadership to God?
Is it recognizable, so that, it manifests in your life and thus spilling over into the lives of your children? This will change the world.