“To get respect, you gotta give respect.”
I have heard those words a number of times when people are trying to explain to others that giving respect is the way to get respect…that, in many cases, may not be the case.
It doesn’t matter how much respect that you give some people, they just do not give it back. Does that mean that we should stop giving respect? NO!
This is where many Christians miss the point, using excuses like, “I’ll respect her when she starts showing me some respect,” or “I will treat him nicely when he stops treating me the way he does.” What if Christ had exercised this type of mentality when it came to saving the world?
He gave His life on a cross to save a lost and dying world…a world that showed him disrespect and chose to have Him placed on a cross as punishment. Punishment that was unwarranted, punishment that was uncalled for…punishment that was unjust; yet, punishment that saved each and every person who has ever accepted the gift that was given.
Had Jesus reacted in the way that many of us do, he would have turned his back on those he came to save. Had Jesus felt the way that many of us do, the world would not have received the gift of eternal life…He probably would not have gone to the cross, healed the sick, and helped the oppressed.
Jesus would not have cast the demons out of the possessed man, He would not have healed the prostitute who touched his garment…He wouldn’t have even welcomed Peter back into the fold after his denial that he even knew Christ.
No, the world would not be the same had Jesus acted the way that many of us who claim His name act toward others!
As Christians we are to live as Christ for the world to see. We are set apart. We are to be different than the world. As Christians, we claim a higher calling; a calling that we are responsible for upholding.
Do you respect others? Do you treat others the way that you want to be treated? Remember how Jesus treated you, even if you didn’t deserve it, He still felt that you were important enough to show the same respect that He showed everyone, the ultimate sacrifice!
Remember how Jesus treated others, and show respect to all you encounter, whether you think they deserve it or not; because trust me – God thinks they do!