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Where's the Respect?
Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Cecil Thompson

Ephesians 6:1-3

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’—which is the first commandment with a promise— ‘that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth’ Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

Possibly many of you have seen pictures of one of our presidential candidates standing casually with his hands crossed while the National Anthem was being played. The others in attendance had their hands over their hearts. A show of respect on his part? No!

Another scene. The stadium crowd is on their feet with their hands over their hearts and many are singing along while the National Anthem is being played. At the end of the field two athletes laugh and talk. A show of respect on their part? No!

Another scene. An ice hockey match is about to begin. One team is from New York and the other is from Montreal. While the US National Anthem is played, the crowd stands with their hand over their hearts. Then the Canadian National Anthem is played. The crowd remains standing with their hands over their hearts. A show of respect? Yes!

Another scene. It is the year 2000 and the Olympic games are in full swing. After winning the gold medal in the pole vault event, Nick Hysong, knelt with the American flag draped over his shoulders in a silent prayer of thanks. That is honor and respect! That is what is so much lacking in our world today. That is what we need to regenerate in our conversation and teaching.

I feel the problem originally started when our judicial system began to impose its brand of morality into the educational system and threw the Biblical pattern out. From that point on we have seen this lack of respect escalate into the violence and crime that is so common place that it is almost expected.

How do we return to the proper pattern of personal discipline that will show a kindness and consideration for others? We are not able to stand and say a few words and just make it happen immediately. What can we as individuals do? Again, we must turn to the Word of God for our guidance.

Today’s Scripture does not pull any punches. It is God’s absolute demand for respect. In Ephesians 6 we see that there is personal responsibility to act with respect and honor. It makes no difference if it has been taught at home or not, the Word of God is imperative that we must honor and respect our parents. It does not give the option to choose whether they are worthy of respect - - we are to treat them with respect because it is God's command.

It is interesting that in modern gang culture, there is a demand to be respected. Members may not show respect to others, but want to be respected. The result is violence and murder at an alarming rate. God’s Word is true. Violate it and the result is death.

Today’s Scripture lays a heavy responsibility on fathers by saying that they are to not exasperate their children, but to bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. That does not mean passing the task off to someone else, but rather accepting what the Lord says and teaching their children what it means to honor and respect - - that means not permitting disrespectful attitudes to their parents or any other adult. Every father should read this chapter and put it into practice.

Even within the church we have permitted a disrespectful attitude. There is a lack of reverence and respect for the Lord. I have even heard the Lord referred to as "the Man upstairs" or other demeaning terms. This is the God of the universe that we refer to, and He is the one that one day we will bow before as we see His blazing, awesome glory. There will be no smart aleck talk at that time. We will be filled with love for Him---yes, but it will be in respectful praise and honor.

This sixth chapter also talks of the respect we should have for everyone. We are told to respect the slave as much as the master. As I write this I am struck with the realization that we start the process by doing what it says ourselves. Be respectful and share that respect with others. We teach more by example than by mere words!

Blessings dear hearts. Walk with God today. Trust Him completely and be a blessing.

--- Pastor Cecil


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