Every person is worthy of respect. Stable families and societies are built on respect. Husbands are called to respect wives. Wives are called to respect husbands. We are commanded to honor our parents and respect civil authority. No one is exempt. We are asked to show proper respect to everyone regardless of their beliefs or behaviors.
Easier said than done, right?
Admittedly, I’ve had many failed attempts. In my experience, there’s only one strategy that consistently works. When I hold up Jesus Christ as my mentor and teacher and focus on developing my relationship with him, I notice that I am able to deliver respect to anyone. Even if you’re not a Christian, you could try this strategy by studying how Jesus handled people and situations. Arguably, he’s the greatest role model of all time.
By doing this, here’s what I’ve noticed:
- I can disagree without being rude and judgmental. The people with whom I disagree aren’t accountable to me. It’s not my job to be a moral policeman.
- I’d rather be happy than right. I think before I speak. If I don’t speak the truth to people in love, then I’m wrong.
- I do to others as I would have them do to me. I want to be treated with patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and faithfulness. Therefore, I must exhibit those qualities.
Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion holds that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In layman terms, whatever goes around comes around. You’ll get back whatever you give out. This is the law of the harvest. If you want to be respected, then you must treat other people with respect.
Every person you meet today is worth of your respect. How will that change your behavior?