Are you looking for respect? Do you wonder why people do not respect you? Have you looked at how you live your life lately? Have you asked yourself, honestly, how you would react to someone who behaves like you do?
We may be wondering why people don’t show us respect. As the old adage goes, respect is not given, it is earned. It is earned through hard work. It is earned through good behavior. It is earned by being an upstanding person who is mostly self-sufficient.
We all want respect. Unfortunately, we don’t all work to gain the respect we want. Why? My guess is we value being selfish over being respected. Think not? Think about the choices we make. We choose to back out on someone because someone else asked us to do something we like better. We ask others regularly to do things for us rather than doing for ourselves. We buy a new outfit for ourselves rather than helping a homeless person find a place to live. What is the common thread in all these choices? It’s all about me, it’s selfishness.
Notice what the Apostle Paul tells the church in Thessalonica to gain respect. Mind your own business. Work with your hands. And a couple of verses prior to today’s passage, he said to love all of God’s family. This is how we earn respect. Why? Others will see us doing the right thing and respect us for it.
Earning respect is no easy task. And, unfortunately, it only takes one slip up to lose it. Earning and keeping the respect of others is a 24/7/365 task. We can never let our guard down. No, if we want respect, especially as we grow old, we must earn it every moment of every day for many years leading to our older years.
I pray we all want to be respected. I pray we commit to earning respect and keeping it. I pray each one of us take the first step toward earning respect and keeping it for our entire lives. Mind your own business. Work with your hands. Love everyone in God’s family. Earn respect. Keep respect.
1 Thessalonians 4:10-12 Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.