Mark 12:28-31 – “Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” 29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. 30 And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” NKJV
This morning the Lord reminded me of something my Grandfather told a neighbor and then the Lord related it to today.
When I was a pre-teen I was sitting on the front porch with my Grandfather when a man who lived just down the road came up and began talking. Finally, the man said, “Mr. Kellum, everybody I know respects you and values your opinion, but I know you don’t like me, can I ask why?” My Grandfather replied, “It’s not that I don’t like you, in Christ I love you, but I don’t respect you.” The man was taken aback and pressed further asking, “Would you mind telling me why?”
My Grandfather responded, “You mistreat your family, your wife, and kids and you mistreat your animals too. I cannot respect a man who does that. You get drunk and come in and physically abuse your family. You don’t provide for them as you should and that I cannot respect.” The man went away with no visible change. About twelve years later he accepted Christ and said that one of the reasons was what my Grandfather said to him years earlier.
The Lord spoke to me about RESPECT! Respecting others and being respected. He also addressed what we often call respect and the demanding of respect and the anger some in the public arena have said about being “disrespected”. Respect, in some areas, is not automatic. I respect your right to privacy. Your right to your own opinion. Your right to live where you choose and can afford. Your right to pursue your career in whatever fashion you desire so long as it’s legal. I respect your right to believe whatever you choose to believe. But, if I am to respect you as a person then there are some standards that I find in the Bible that I use to determine respect or the level of it.
I respect people I have never met and do not respect some that I have. If a person, as the man my Grandfather addressed, will not provide for his own, mistreats his family and even his animals, is abusive physically, mentally, and verbally then I do not respect that. If that individual, as with my Grandfather, asks why I would give much the same answer with the addendum of sharing more of Christ’s plan or offer of salvation to them.
I want people to respect me, therefore it is incumbent upon me to conduct myself and condition my heart in a respectable manner! If I manifest Christ in my life, my words, and my walk then there would be little, if anything to disrespect unless you have disrespect for Christ Himself. If in me, they see Jesus respect will not be an issue. They may disagree with what I believe, even dislike me as a person but it will be difficult for them to actually have disrespect. I want to live my life in such a way as to bring honor to Christ nor dishonor!
Let’s begin our day and live our lives in such a manner as to earn the respect of others and thereby bring honor to our Lord! Blessings as you go through your day!