Each year at the Conrad home, we strive for a character trait goal. A little “r-e-s-p-e-c-t” is one we frequent, one we speak of, one discussed, one researched. Just thought I’d stop and take some “inventory” today. Let’s first look at what Webster defines as it’s meaning(s).
1. esteem: a feeling or attitude of admiration and deference toward somebody or something . “He has no respect for authority.”
2. state of being admired: the state of being admired deferentially
3. thoughtfulness: consideration or thoughtfulness
4. characteristic: an individual characteristic or point
The first meaning takes a look at our feelings or attitude of respect, in many cases with our authority. Here’s my reflective question(s): Who has God placed as authority in your life? At work, at church, at home? How do our attitudes reflect in our tones when it comes to something we don’t agree with? How do we react? How do we respond? What are the consequences?
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
A second meaning takes a look at our own desire for respect, our state of being. Question: How do you want to receive respect? Is it the same or different way of receiving from those around you? Have you communicated to others your preferred method of receiving respect? How are you doing in the “giving” respect department?
Each of you must respect his mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the LORD your God.
A third meaning deals with consideration or thoughtfulness. This is a biggie in our house. Often times our selfish nature is first to lead the way in our thoughts and our responses (yes, I say we). I will often prompt the kids with, “What is more important, that toy you are playing with or your sister?’ You fill in the blanks. I believe one area that gets overlooked is time. My friend Kristin lead a study through the 10 Commandments, and one concept that has stuck with me is the concept of “stealing”; I believe we steal people’s time. We steal time when we aren’t where we need to be, when we were to be there, when we chose our ways over loving others, when we prioritize ourselves first, and give others our leftovers. This shows disrespect.
[ A Time for Everything ] There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven
A fourth meaning focuses on the characteristic of respect. I also believe that hand in hand with respect lies its cousin – dependability. People want to trust that when you say you will do something, you simply do it. When you say you will show up, you show up; we desire a loyalty, someone we know we can count on to be responsible, one who is faithful to endure, to fulfill their commitment. David was one such example,
1 Samuel 22:14
Ahimelech answered the king, “Who of all your servants is as loyal as David, the king’s son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard and highly respected in your household?
Catch the “r” word there. How do you stack up in the “respect” department today? What areas could use a little improvement? Perhaps today God is calling you to recognize and simply acknowledge this area to Him. Perhaps He has something He wants to show you? Perhaps he is waiting for you to say, “Lord, please help me.”
David built an altar to the LORD there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the LORD answered prayer in behalf of the land
So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.
Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.
I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer.
Hear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.