Tag Archives: respect

Respect

Comedian Bob Newhart once said, “I don’t like country music, but I don’t mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means ‘put down’.”

Funny, right? Depends on your perspective. In our over-the-top politically correct world, public discourse is anything but a joke.

Something seems to be missing. Civility? Common courtesy? Dignity? Good manners? Honor?

Someone posterized the idea of respect this way:

“Treat people the way you want to be treated.

Talk to people the way you want to be talked to.

Respect is earned, not given.”

Okay … this isn’t new. Check out Matthew 7:12. It’s been called the Golden Rule. I’m not certain I agree with the last line, though. I wasn’t brought up that way. I think you start with respect, not end with it. Paul wrote that wives should respect their husbands; he didn’t say that husbands always deserve respect (Ephesians 5:33).

These days you could substitute a number of things for Newhart’s  dig at country music fans. It’s easy to show disrespect in our world. We can always find someone to look down on. Or, we could choose another path.

Too quixotic? I don’t have the power or influence to change the world, but I do have the power and influence to affect my world. I don’t have to yield to my baser instincts to pre-judge others. I could begin with a page that is blank except for the word “respect” that I could hand to every person I meet. It would require an attitude that starts with this simple truth: I will never meet a person whom God doesn’t love.

On this weekend, it somehow seems appropriate to honor the highest values we can name, to be truly thankful for those who have paid dearly for our freedom, to leverage that freedom in impacting our world with something other than self-service and absorption.

I believe I can respect that.

Father’s Day

Yeah, I know. Compared to Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is a single to a home run. Mother’s Day ranks just below Christmas and Easter, last year totaling 133 million cards (to 90 million for dads). People spent over $11 billion for moms, a little over $8 billion for dads. The president of the National Retail Federation said, “Dads tend to be more low-maintenance than mom. While moms love to receive luxury items such as jewelry or a trip to the spa, dads are happy with an afternoon barbecue or watching the ball game without distraction.

What about it guys? If that’s not enough, check out these texts:

Teen: “What time are you picking me up?”

Dad: “Who is this?”

Teen: “Your son.”

Dad: “How did you get this number?”

Teen: “I programmed your phone, remember?”

Dad: “How do I delete people?”

 

Mom: “Your father is driving me crazy. When are you coming home?”

Teen: “I’m out with friends so not til late.”

Mom: “It’s OK. I put Ambien in his tea. He won’t be annoying me much longer.”

 

Teen: “Hey!”

Dad: “Aren’t you supposed to be at school?”

Teen: “Aren’t you supposed to be at work?”

Dad: “Touché.”

 

Teen: “Happy 49th, Dad! I love you so much!”

Dad: “It’s 48! You ruined my day.”

 

Mom: “Come downstairs and talk to me please.”

Teen: “Isn’t Dad there?”

Mom: “Yes, but I like you more.”

Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, right? Reminds me of Rodney Dangerfield: “I get no respect.”  Truth is, it’s an honor to be a dad. While there are no perfect dads around, I can look around and see a great number of men who take their roles as fathers very seriously. My brothers and I were privileged to have a godly dad who provided a great example of how a husband should love his wife and a father should love his children. He’s been gone twenty years this year and we still miss him. I’d love to pick up the phone and seek his counsel and wisdom. He was always there for me.

Father’s Day might not be a big deal to everyone, but I hope that if you still have your dad, give him some respect, show him your love. If you are a dad, turn to your Father for wisdom. Love your kids, lead your kids, bless your kids. Happy Father’s Day!

 

Lunchbox Evangelism

I still read “Peanuts” … I know Charles Schulz has been gone since 2000, but I still get a kick out Charlie Brown and friends. They never seem to grow old. We’ve all learned some life lessons from these eternal five year-olds.

Lucy was boasting to her brother, Linus, about her religious fervor and her potential as an evangelist. He was listening carefully as she explained:

“I could be a terrific evangelist. Do you know that kid who sits behind me at school? I convinced him that my religion was better than his religion.”

Linus asks: “How did you do that?

Lucy replies, “I hit him with my lunchbox.”

They didn’t teach that particular method in seminary, but there are variations of it around. Ramming our beliefs down somebody’s throat doesn’t have much appeal or effectiveness.

We could use a great deal more humility and respect. If our argument is so weak that we have to resort to harsh words, manipulative methods, or even violence, we must not have much of a case. Throughout history, those who have tried to drive people to their knees in fear never seem to lift people up in hope.

 

Peter wrote to believers in a time of oppression and persecution: “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to give a reason for the hope that is within you. But you must do this in a gentle and respectful way” (1 Peter 3:15,16).

No, not all religions are the same. No, our way to heaven is not paved by our good works. I believe in the sufficiency and uniqueness of Jesus Christ. I believe He did what no other could do to save us. I still believe the world would be much more interested in how much we care instead of how much we know.

Pray for those divine appointments to talk to the kid who sits behind you at school, the woman who works at the next desk, the guy you run into at the store. Pray for opportunities to walk the talk with humility and respect. Look for a chance to tell someone how Christ changed your life and eternal destination. Just put the lunchbox down first.