HOW do we respect & honor those who are not only dishonoring and disrespecting us, but even their own selves? WHAT does that really look like?
The first thought to consider, I ran into at a recent Bible study, started with this verse:
Exodus 20:12 "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you."
Honor releases LIFE. Honor: releasing life by recognizing the glory that is in another.
We can honor a person by speaking LIFE to release it. NOT words of death.
A recent morning's old testament Bible readings were about the time when Saul was chasing after David. (1 Sam 24:1-25:44) David had opportunity, when Saul was unprepared & vulnerable to KILL him. He chose not to and gave as his reasons, that Saul was appointed by God. He did go onto say, maybe Saul would die in some other way, in battle or something BUT it would NOT be by HIS (David's) hand.
He did not want to be responsible for the death of one who was appointed by God. However, David DID let Saul know that he had opportunity to kill him but did not take it. Saul would then call out to David to come join him but David did not.
**Saul was still dangerous-a danger to David.** David did not intentionally expose himself to this danger. David respected Saul, not even as a human being or even as King BUT BECAUSE GOD has positioned Saul as King. And David did NOT put himself in harm's way by running back to Saul.
GOD has APPOINTED certain people and relationships for us. If you believe that...you can release any idea or need for people to behave a certain way in order for you to honor or respect them.
START with your speaking. How do you refer to people in your life or people you have relationships (especially estranged ones) with? Do you call them a nick-name? Do you make jokes about them? Do you complain about their unbecoming behaviors to others?
We can choose to focus on their good and complimentary traits. We can highlight the positive. We should also be praying blessings for them and thank God for their good traits. If you can not think of any thing good about them or anything to be thankful for, ask God to show or remind you about their positive qualities.
Also, I heard my middle son make a sarcastic remark about someone today. Yes, he's frustrated, hurt and angry. I understand this. However, I confessed and apologized for any way *I* may have done this myself in the past--starting with ME taking ownership here--and proceeded to give the example of how David treated Saul.
From here on forward, as a family, we will only speak of other people with the utmost respect...or say NOTHING. This does not erase what transpires. It does not lessen the impact or condone bad behavior. We acknowledge the wrongs against us but we won't make derogatory jokes or sarcastic remarks. We will respect the people in our lives, in POSITIONS, APPOINTED by GOD, in our family. If nothing else, our motivation is to honor the position the LORD has appointed various people to.
This might seem VERY obvious to some of you. I THOUGHT I was being respectful and training my children to be as well (and most often, we probably were). Then we had an incident that helped me realized, at least sometimes, our honor and respect were being influenced by other people's behavior...but it should (or can) be INDEPENDENT of anyone's behavior.
It took REALLY digging in deep, through prayer, God's Word and meditating on it to come to this place. We do not need to point fingers or place blame. We must be intentional in speaking LIFE to those we love and care about...making our goal reconciliation--in whatever form that can happen for now-which would be for all of us to be able to have fellowship again.
We control ourselves. One fruit of the Spirit is self control. We can not control others and we should not strive to, but we can always make a choice to control ourselves.