God’s Word for Today: Respect. This word, respect, takes a lot of work. Is it a word that is slowly going out the window? Does the current generation of youth even know what this word means? I was raised to respect my elders. Why does that seem like such a lost practice? Do we need Aretha Franklin to spell it out for us?
I always felt as a Site Super at Construction Jobs, the first thing I needed to establish was respect. If as the leader, I did not have everyone’s respect, then the project would fall short. But, if I established a good form of respect, then everything went so much smoother and success was inevitable.
Through the years, I have had many bosses. It amazes me how there are actually only 2 types of bosses. One boss demands respect, and the other type of boss earns respect. Which one do you think is more successful?
The boss that demands respect uses a very strong and very powerful tool. It is such a simple tool that I view it as being lazy. When one is in the position of management, you have a certain power over all those working under you. You hold their financial security in your hands. Pretty simple to demand respect. These bosses go on the principal, “If you don’t do what I say, then you will be fired.” Sadly, this practice works. Truthfully, demanded respect really is not respect at all. If you are given the either or ultimatum, only your bank account drives a minimal hint of respect. Your regard for that person initiates absolutely no motivation.
Then you have the person in control, who earns your respect. There are many ways they naturally do this. For one, they establish that you are not working for them, but you are actually working with them. A boss that earns respect knows how to listen. A boss that earns one’s respect is going to make mistakes. What separates this person is that they will admit their mistakes. Not as a sign of weakness, but more because of a natural strength. Good stuff.
Now, we will review a previously mentioned subject. Teenagers and their lack of respect. Every new generation is judged by the previous generations. The older generations are pretty convinced that this next generation is doomed. They have no respect for anyone or anything. Boundaries are ignored. A clearly drawn line is crossed without the least afterthought. Our world is going to be a terrible place when this next generation is in control. How have we failed to teach them respect? After all, I was taught to respect. I knew what respect was. I practiced respect because it was an either or ultimatum. Uh oh.
When I get upset with the apparent lack of respect from teenagers to young adults, it ignites a pilot light type flame into a complete bon fire. I get mad. Sometimes really mad. Mainly because it seems like I can get more respect out of a brick wall. Why does it have to be so difficult? Where did we go wrong?
Then, I remember a period in my life where I was exactly the same as this new generation. Yes, I was taught respect. Yes, I had respect for my parents and my elders. Yes, I did what I was told. Yes, I knew boundaries. Yes, I didn’t cross the line. But then, look out. Then, I didn’t care. Then, it was time to start trying to leave the nest. Mamma bird said that it would probably hurt when I left and didn’t even know how to fly yet. I didn’t care. I was ready to fly. The ground didn’t look all that formidable. I could simply brush myself off and try again. Mom, Dad, and all the other adults didn’t have a clue what my life was like. I had it so much rougher than they ever had. They just didn’t understand. Sound familiar? Been there, done that. The next generation is going to do it too, and every generation after that. I am pretty sure we aren’t doomed. As a matter of fact, it can be rather amusing watching the next generation make the mistakes that you tried so hard to teach them not to do. We all fall out of the nest.
Isaiah 5:12. They have harps and lyres at their banquets, pipes and timbrels and wine, but they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord, no respect for the work of his hands.
Now, when I get infuriated at a young adult’s actions and apparent lack of respect, I have to stop and look in the mirror. Imagine what God goes through each and every day. How many times in my life have I shown a completely disregard for God’s Word? How many times have I jumped out of the nest just to see what the next flight might be like? How many times have I shown absolutely no respect to God and His advice on how to direct my life?
Oh man. If God reacted to my actions like I react to a lack of respect, then I am doomed. I have crossed God’s line so many times. He has absolutely no reason to ever love me. God has every right to turn His back on me and never reach out to help me again.
Today, realize how easy it is to show a total lack of respect to God. Every action, every harsh word, every thought that goes against the most perfect Love ever given, is a sign of no respect. Most times we don’t even mean to. Other times we intentionally choose to not respect God’s Word. Now ask yourself, are you doomed? Did God finally give up on my sorry self? Then realize that God is not the type of boss that demands respect. God is the perfect boss that will earn every ounce of your respect. Just give Him a chance. Guaranteed, He deserves your respect……………….
Prayer: My Lord, the maker of me. Forgive me for my actions. Each and every day God, if I would just open my eyes, I would see the amazing things you have done in this world. I would see every blessing you have laid right in front me. I know God that you Love me. I know God that if I would simply respect your Word, my life would be so much better. I am ready to listen God. I am ready to learn. I am ready to respect. Work with me Lord. In Jesus’, who respected all life and gave His in kind, name I pray. Amen.