LifeLink Devotions

Monday, April 18, 2022

Respect. It’s being lost. I don’t know when it all started, but the right of an individual to respect only his or her own position has become the new social order of today. As I was researching this issue this morning, I came across an article written by J. Gerald Harris on The Christian Index in October of 2007. Here are some excerpts.

“I remember well the riots and demonstrations that took place on many college and university campuses in 1967-68. There was a crusade to “tear down the establishment.”

“This crusade carried over into the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Abbie Hoffman, a self-proclaimed communo-anarchist, was arrested and tried for conspiracy and inciting to riot as a result of his role in protests that led to violent confrontations with police during that fateful Democratic National Convention. Hoffman along with other individuals became known, collectively, as the Chicago Seven. In his autobiography Hoffman wrote: “Kids need to be educated to disrespect authority. Otherwise, democracy is a farce.”

“I would never recommend Hoffman’s book, but somehow his message, which was conceived by the devil and hatched in hell, has found a lodging place in the minds of many.

“I was in a restaurant last week and in the booth behind me a mother was eating lunch with her two small children. There was constant bantering between the poor beleaguered mother and the two very vociferous and rambunctious children.

“The children were apparently born in the objective mood and the negative case. They were not happy with the restaurant their mother had chosen, the color of Crayons they had received from the server, the food, or the surroundings. At one point the mother said to her son, “Landon, eat your chicken fingers.”

“He responded by shouting loud enough for the chef in the kitchen to hear, “I hate this food and I don’t have to do what you say!”

“If I had ever said that to my mother or father in public or private the wrath of Khan would have seemed like a walk in the park compared to the retribution I would have received from my parents. But then, my parents taught me to have a reverence for God, a respect for authority, and a reason for living.

“To me it is of little wonder that many children fail to respect the authority of their parents, because there is a lack of respect for authority on just about every level of our society. When adults fail to respect those in authority over them, why should we expect any less from children? Unfortunately, in our day we not only see authority disrespected, but demeaned. Americans have the right to dissent, but the protestations of some have reached a level of disrespect and dishonor that is shameful, even reprehensible.

“In the grand scheme of things I suppose that disrespect for authority is nothing new. In fact, in the first pages of the Bible we find that Satan entered the Garden of Eden and tempted Eve by challenging what God had said. The first sin was not a matter of whether the action was right or wrong; it was a matter of whether or not authority should be respected. Satan led Adam and Eve to believe that God was an inadequate authority trying to hide power from them and lying to them about the outcome of their choices. He convinced them to reach around God, due to His “inadequacy,” and reach for godhood on their own. Obviously, this same tendency follows us today. We have an enormous problem with authority and have been searching for a way to get authority for ourselves since Eden.

“Any time we disrespect the authority that is over us, it is a blatant attempt to reach around the authority God has established. People who fail to honor the authorities God has placed over them may ultimately get the leadership they deserve.”

Ephesians 6:1-3  “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’—which is the first commandment with a promise—that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Think on the issue of respect today, and we will talk more tomorrow.

Pastor John

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