Growing up, my brothers and I were taught to say, “Yes sir” or, “No, ma’am” out of respect for anyone older than we were. We would receive compliments, such as, “Aren’t you a nice gentleman?” with a pat on the head. However, looking back, this simple action did far more for us to set the precedent to respect others than it did for the recipient. It was a constant reminder to respect others. After all, we are to, “never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would your own father” (1 Timothy 5:1). Respecting others is how you express value. In a crowd of people respect is often lost. Next time you’re at the mall notice if you give way or turn to respect oncoming people. There are a number of ways to show respect. You can “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged” (Leviticus 19:32).
Learn to respect others’ time. Being late is disrespectful and sends a message that you do not care. Learn to respect others’ time and the affluent will seek you out in effort to bring mutual value. Respecting others is not always easy. I think of Paul’s response when Festus shouted, “‘Paul, you are insane. Too much study has made you crazy!’ But Paul replied, ‘I am not insane, most excellent Festus. What I’m saying is the sober truth’” (Acts 26:24-25). Respect others, even when it’s not easy, and you will be respected. The saying “nice guys finish last” is a bunch of bunk, and whoever originally quoted that is sitting somewhere last!
How has respecting others worked for you? How has it made you feel to be the recipient of respect?
P.S. Not commenting on this post is disrespectful. (Kidding, of course!)