Respect

Connecting Points

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Today’s Topic:  Respect

Today’s Text: 2 Peter 2:10 (NIV)  This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority.

The next characteristic of a false teacher is the display of disrespect for authority. They even go so far as to despise it. Their message is filled with animosity towards government leaders, bosses, and even parents. They use anger as a rallying point. They encourage revolution, not repentance. They focus on rebellion not reconciliation. They are known more for what they are against than what they favor.

These are some good practical points for us to watch in our lives as well.

  • How often are we caught belittling and disrespecting our government leaders? Romans 13:1-2  Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. 
  • How much time do we spend in the break room at work or elsewhere talking down about our bosses? Ephesians 6:5-7  Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 
  • Even as adults, how often are we involved in discussions that disrespect our parents or memory of them because we blame them for the choices we are currently making? Ephesians 6:2-3  Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”

Respect is an attribute of character that is not taught very well by our modern society. I found this quote this morning:

Our youths love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority—they show disrespect for their elders and love to chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when their elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up food, and tyrannize teachers.

What may surprise you is that this statement of the condition of the culture was made in the year 400 B.C. by Socrates.

But the disrespect of youth for authority is not our only problem. As adults we are in denial about how much disrespect we show towards the youth. Here’s a marvelous story that illustrates the point.

A waitress was taking orders from a couple and their young son; she was one of the class of veteran waitresses who never show outright disrespect to their customers, but who frequently make it quietly evident by their unhurried pace and their level stare that they fear no mortal, not even parents. She jotted on her order pad deliberately and silently as the father and mother gave their luncheon selection and gratuitous instructions as to what was to be substituted for what, and which dressing changed to what sauce. When she finally turned to the boy, he began his order with a kind of fearful desperation.

“I want a hot dog—,” he started. And both parents barked at once, “No hot dog!” The mother went on. “Bring him the lyonnaise potatoes and the beef, both vegetables, and a hard roll and etc. etc.”

The waitress wasn’t even listening. She look right at the child and said calmly, “What do you want on your hot dog?” He flashed an amazed smile. “Ketchup, lots of ketchup, and—and bring a glass of milk.”

“Coming up,” she said as she turned from the table, leaving behind her the stunned silence of utter parental dismay. The boy watched her go before he turned to his father and mother with astonished elation to say, “You know what? She thinks I’m real! She thinks I’m real!” 

Maybe…just maybe the real cause of disrespectful youth is parental modeling. Just a thought for you…and me.

Pastor John

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