After learning of the death of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, each of her famous songs replayed in my head. I found myself dancing to her music and singing at the top of my lungs, especially when she sang Respect (… all I’m asking for is a little respect …). That’s a classic – and very timely for the world today.
Our culture shows little respect for the other person. Time after time in action and word, people are belittled and demoralized. It’s as if from cradle to grave we are taught NOT to show respect – just get in your face. I don’t know when, how or why this cultural shift occurred, but it has and I believe it can be changed, one person at a time.
Learning to show each and every individual respect is all about seeing value in them and understanding that their life has meaning and significance. I believe each person was made in the image of God (Imago Dei) and, therefore, should be treated with respect, whether or not we agree with what they say or do.
I’ll admit I all too often can be rubbed the wrong way by a person, often finding negatives that make me want to treat a person with less respect. But that’s not what I’m called to do as a Christian.
Phillipians 2:3-5 gives us instruction that makes respect for all possible. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…”
The world may have lost the value of showing respect and honoring authority but that doesn’t mean you and I should. Learning to show respect will change you – enough so that you can then be light in a very dark world.
What do you think?
1 Peter 2:17 “Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.”