WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 26, 2022
TOPIC: BE RESPECTFUL
BY T. O. BANSO
“People who respect others will be blessed, but stubborn people will have plenty of troubles” (Proverbs 28:14 Easy-to-Read Version).
Respectful people are not stupid. But some people who respond to them may not be as wise as they are. I have seen a senior person or superior showing respect to a junior or subordinate, but the person unwisely walks around with his/her nose in the air. He had an attitude of self-importance. He thought that because the person showed him some respect he must be inferior to him.
I have also seen people who, to use the word of John the Baptist, are unfit to untie the straps of the sandal of others respond to their humility with arrogance just because those people didn’t come blowing their trumpets or visibly display affluence or power.
When someone you have never met or you don’t know addresses you respectfully either physically or online, it is foolish to think that he/she must have done that because you’re superior to him/her. It is civil to show respect to others, especially strangers. Why must you assume that you are superior to others? Even most superiors don’t act toward their subordinates disrespectfully. If someone older than you or superior to you uses sir/ma for you, don’t be stupid not to reply, using the same, whether you are a Pastor, Chief Executive, or student.
I have seen instances where doors were shut against people because of a lack of respect. Some people have been denied access or opportunities because they acted disrespectfully. They paid dearly for being disrespectful. But others have good stories of favourable treatment to tell, probably unknown to them that it was because they were respectful. Many people who were trained to be respectful from childhood don’t condone disrespectful behaviour or attitude, not because they are like the scribes and the Pharisees who love respectful greetings in the marketplaces! (Matthew 23:6-7; Mark 12:38; Luke 11:43; 20:46). Are you respectful at home, work, or church, and elsewhere or do you treat others shabbily?
As a child of God, you have a greater responsibility to be respectful. Every culture has its way of showing respect to others. But even if some aspects of your culture are disrespectful, understand that the day you became a Christian you were initiated into a new culture. The Bible culture teaches respect to others, including elders, strangers, superiors, spouses, and family members. Respectful people are not stupid. Conduct yourself according to the teachings of the Bible, not the disrespectful practices in your culture. “Therefore ‘Come out from among them and be separate’” says the Lord (2 Corinthians 6:17a New King James Version).
Christians, including pastors or church leaders, should be respectful. Be respectful to your parents, pastor, congregation, friends, colleagues, teachers, bosses, and others. Parents must train their children to respect others. Paul says that a man who desires the position of a bishop must, among other things, “be able to manage his own family well and make his children obey him with all respect” (1 Timothy 3:4 Good News Translation). Note the phrase “obey him with all respect.”
Also in Titus 2:3a, Paul told Titus, “Teach the older women to be quiet and respectful in everything they do” (The Living Bible). Teach your children or those under your training to be respectful and save them and yourself from paying dearly for their disrespect to others in the future.
A disrespectful daughter will become a disrespectful student, friend, employee, wife, and so on. The same thing applies to a disrespectful son. The Apostle Peter says in 1 Peter 3:1a, “Wives, fit in with your husbands’ plans; for then if they refuse to listen when you talk to them about the Lord, they will be won by your respectful, pure behaviour” (The Living Bible). Note the phrase “by your respectful, pure behaviour.” Christians should be an example of respect.
Also, the Apostle Peter says in 1 Peter 3:15 says, “Quietly trust yourself to Christ your Lord, and if anybody asks why you believe as you do, be ready to tell him, and do it in a gentle and respectful way” (The Living Bible). Note the phrase “do it in a gentle and respectful way.” Do everything, including relating with others, in a respectful way. How can you be a pastor or Christian and you’re disrespectful or abuse the respect of others?
Everyone wants to be treated respectfully. So why should you treat others disrespectfully even if you’re the boss? The Bible says, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12 New King James Version). Luke 6:31 says a similar thing: “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise” (New King James Version). This is often called the Golden Rule.
Conduct yourself respectfully. Respect others. Respectful people are not stupid. Reciprocate their respect; don’t fool yourself that you’re superior to them or better than them. In addition to other ways of showing respect, cultivate the use of addressing others as sir/ma, where it is appropriate. People addressed others, including Jesus, as “sir” about thirteen times in the New King James Version of the Bible (Genesis 43:20; Matthew 13:27; 21:30, 27:63; Luke 13:8; John 4:11; 4:15; 4:19, 49; 5:7; 12:21; 20:15; Revelation 7:14).
Using sir/ma for someone doesn’t make you a slave. The Cambridge Dictionary simply defines “sir” as “a formal or polite way of speaking to a man, especially one who you are providing a service to or who is in a position of authority.” It also says it is used to begin a formal letter to a man whose name you don’t know and by children to refer to their male teachers. What is true of the use of sir is also true of ma.
Show respect to others in every biblical way. 1 Peter 2:17a says, “Be respectful to all” (Complete Jewish Bible). The New King James Version says, “Honor all people.” Proverbs 28:14 says, “People who respect others will be blessed, but stubborn people will have plenty of troubles” (Easy-to-Read Version). Instead of the word “respect”, the New King James Version uses the phrase “always reverent.” Be respectful.
In the parable of the wicked vinedressers, Jesus said that the vineyard owner, after the vinedressers had maltreated the servants he sent earlier, at last, sent to them his son, his beloved son, saying that they would respect him but they killed him (Matthew 21:37-39; Mark 12:6-8; Luke 20:13-15). Jesus was referring to His imminent crucifixion. Asking what the vine owner would do to the wicked vinedressers, Jesus said the vine owner (God) would come and destroy them and give the vineyard to others. Be respectful. Romans 12:10b says, “Be eager to show respect for one another” (Good News Translation).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of the ways I have disrespected others. Father, forgive me for my pride and contempt for others. Holy Spirit, deliver me from self-exaltation and my attitude of self-importance. Help me to respect all and not think of myself more highly than I should.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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