I hurt a little on the inside when I use trite titles. Alas, trite I may be.
Today, nevermind at what instance, I felt very disrespected. To be very specific, while communicating with someone, I felt as though this person was not directing at me the responses I felt due. I felt, in fact, belittled. Knowing the anger and defense that first arose in my heart was neither holy nor appropriate, I tried to redirect my spiritual eyes to the gospel.
Immediately, two things occurred to me. The first was that in general, I am treated very well. Otherwise, this is not an occasion that would stand out. But it did stand out, fiercely: This was not a friend, joshing me, not a boss or leader pointing out my folly, not a child, asking for answers or playing with me. So first , I was grateful that I am surrounded by kind, and generally respectful, people.
But also, I was struck with the fact that deep rooted in this idea of disrespect is the vain, worldly idea that there is some honor due me on account of my own actions ideas. Let’s not mince words. (Especially since I’m not positive what that even means) I have no value of my own accord. I have sinned and fallen short. I am at times every sinful thing you could be, and the scope of my sin is limited not by my own great worth but by the grace which God has so generously showered upon me. I love him because he called me to love him, and any ‘worthy’ thing I do is only by his strength. So in truth, should someone deny that I am worthy, in some sense, of any thing (here seen as some one denying that I am worthy of respect) it is just that this person is acting in accordance with truth, if you can call it that, outside of the Gospel. This person is taking facts, and looking at them in the light of the world. And in that dim, flickering light, this person is right.
How often, then, do I do the same? Meditate on another’s faults and follies rather than their worth in God? React to a person’s shortcomings rather than acknowledging the work they are inviting God to do in them, and praising the God who does that work? Or just get all fussy over things not going my way, when I know that they all went according to how God, who is sovereign and perfect, would have them go?
ALLLL THE STINKIN’ TIME, PEOPLE!!
And the walls of self preservation came a tumblin’ down. I ought not be upset at this Christian sibling, I ought to be begging God for His grace to show me the logs in my eyes, and to remove the specks in the eyes of the other.
What are your feelings on respect?