Disappearing Respect

Our guest blogger visited again with a great post about RESPECT. . .

I have been saying “I guess it is because I am getting older…”, but that is not true. Respect is disappearing, it has been for years. Most children do not respect their parents, themselves, teachers, each other, personal property belonging to anyone or anyone else in authority over them. The news is filled with murders, robberies, beatings, bullying and suicides. In every age bracket these crimes and others are being committed. Everyone thinks it is okay to call others names, or slander one another in public and on social medias. With the technologies today there are inappropriate pictures and text messages being sent left and right. Stores and businesses have no customer service anymore, they do not care if you come back to shop with them or not. Stupid, idiot, or worse come out of our mouths so easily we think nothing of it. A sense of entitlement is the rule rather than the exception.

What is going on in this country? Have seen all manner of disrespect from people of all ages against our government, country and leaders. Even leaders in the House and Senate, (and White House), are disrespectful.

God’s word is very clear about how we are to act toward our leaders and government, oh and each other. Look what I found the other day in Matthew while reading The Message translation.

Matthew 5:21-22 “You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother ‘idiot!’ and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that WORDS kill.

Wow! How many times I have thoughtlessly called out “Stupid’ or “Idiot” in a moment of frustration. We are to be about unconditional love……toward one another…..oh my goodness. Our focus has gotten so far away from caring about the other people we are around, no matter where we may be, that we just open our mouth and spew out things that are hurtful without stopping to think how it will impact anyone, DISRESPECTFUL!

I don’t know about you but I am going to:

1.) Thank the Lord for showing me this scripture.

2.) Ask Him to forgive me.

3.) Write this on a card to keep in front of me where I can see it and try to do better.

If we know better, we can be better (Mya Angeliou)

So let us each try to be better, kinder, gentler toward all!

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Attitude

Imitating Christ’s Humility

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~ Philippians 2:1-11

Politicians and other world religions point to unity as being key to a tolerant and harmonious life.

I find it interesting that Paul does not point the Philippians to the idea of Unity itself. But to a deeper foundation which is to be found in humility. Jesus Christ is God and man in one, indivisibly, meekness and majesty, the man who is God and Paul points us to having his attitude. The fact that Jesus was both God and man makes His humility that much more incredible to me. Christ had a higher priority than His own interrupted Glory. Christ did not give up the attributes of God by subtracting His Authority but He accomplished His plan by the addition of His humanity.

When we live with self being our priority and pride our conceit, disunity is born. It’s easy to miss what Paul is not telling us here, he isn’t giving us a list of things to do in order to be in harmony or unity with others, he is simply pointing to Christ and the fact that Christ did not hold onto His Authority but He made himself nothing, a servant. Don’t forget that God didn’t just speak to us from the heights of heaven but He spoke to us by walking with us and speaking to us right here on earth in the Form of Jesus Christ. And during His time with us, He established an attitude that is to be the attitude of His followers.

How does this relate to us in our lives? When was the last time you refused to forgive someone because you waited for them to make it right or you didn’t want to be the first to give in? When was the last time you refused to apologize because it wasn’t your fault? There are few things that we have control over but two are the effort we put into living our lives and our attitude. We must remember the example of Christ, we must live the example of Christ. Thankfully we are not without an unending supply of Grace because we are going to mess this up.

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Don’t Go Looking For Trouble

How many times have you been accused of doing something or saying something maliciously? I mean really, some people are always on the defensive, looking for something done wrong or said wrong. Do you know anyone like that? I think we all do.

So, how do handle situations that others put us in like that? I know for me, if I let my flesh decide what to do I would cut off all contact with this person and just be done. But guess what? I try really hard not to listen to my flesh and seek out God and what HE would have me do when I find myself in a situation like that. By seeking HIM it gives me a chance to cool off, calm down and react out of love and not anger or bitterness. Scripture commands us to forgive others so we can also be forgiven.

“If you forgive the failures of others, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don’t forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failures. Matthew 6:14-15

If this individual continuously causes you strife you may want to think about setting some new boundaries with them. I found a great devotional the other day that dealt with this specific issue, here it is:

If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. Titus 3:10

Paul admonishes believers to be satisfied in whatever circumstances they endure (Phil. 4:11; 1 Tim. 6:7-8), but Scripture makes a distinction between godly and ungodly contentment. Because of their own brokenness, some people are not happy until they’ve stirred up strife in the relationships around them. Uncertain about others’ love for them, they attempt to find security in controlling the environment and creating factions.
When we come to Christ, however, He redefines our understanding of normal and healthy. No longer dependent on our selves, we find that he calls us to trust in His protection rather than our own. But we may not recognize how deeply our defense mechanisms rn, and some individuals simply choose not to walk in Jesus’ promise to make all things new (2 Cor. 5:17; Rev. 21:5). In Titus 3, Paul shows us how to handle relational strife: First, we respond with grace through a right understanding of what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross (vv. 4-7); we teach, model, and warn if necessary (vv. 10-11).
Reflecting Jesus’ love doesn’t mean partnering with other’ dysfunction. Instead, we mush present to others the light of His truth (1 John 1:5)
~ Regina Franklin

Now this isn’t to say that we should appear perfect and holier than thou, we will never be that and never could be. But we should be vulnerable when we make mistakes, we should be quick to forgive and ask for forgiveness. Forgiveness isn’t easy, but we don’t ask for it and we don’t offer it. Why do we choose to darken the light within us? Our God is big enough to change not only you but whoever you are having trouble forgiving. We need to let go of the chains of un-forgiveness, because we are not shackled to them we are holding onto them. God tells us to forgive and then He will forgive us. It’s pretty simple but we make it so complicated, God doesn’t want the perfect person He wants us with all our baggage. And with HIS help we can start to sort through that junk too!

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Chains

Beloved, has God changed your heart? Is HE still working in your heart? Are you having trouble forgiving someone? Listen, our God is big enough to change not only you but whoever you are having trouble forgiving. Let go of the chains YOU are holding onto. Please hear me, you are not shackled anymore but when you CHOOSE not to forgive & you CHOOSE not to deal with your junk you are CHOOSING to HOLD onto those chains. God says FORGIVE so then He will forgive us. God’s word clearly says that if we don’t forgive others He won’t forgive us.

“If you forgive the failures of others, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don’t forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failures.
~ Matthew 6:14-15

Let go of the chains that are keeping you captive. Aren’t they heavy?