And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another. ~Ephesians 5:20-21
Whenever I used to hear that word I thought of listening in school, obeying my parents, and being polite to strangers.
As I began growing up I understood respect to take on many more meanings.
Because Christ died for every single one of us we are to treat each other with the same respect he held for us. His life story is made up of respect.
He respected women when no one would give them a chance.
He respected the poor when others spat on them.
He respected sinners who were honest about their faults and asked for forgiveness.
I’ve been through many seasons when I did not respect myself. I didn’t believe I was worthy of love, worthy of respect from men, worthy of life full of joy.
I looked at myself as been less than the others in my life or those who I saw and envied.
These feelings of disrespect for myself strengthened until I admitted to myself and others that I could not make it one more step.
After my stay in a psychiatric ward in October 2012 I opened my heart up to the true possibility of God being higher than me. A God who cared for me beyond understanding and loved me no matter what.
Since that realization three-and-a-half years ago God has given me lesson after lesson about what respect for Him, myself, and the world looks like.
Keeping respect at the forefront of any relationship is vital. When we remain reverent toward one another we not only obey God’s laws but we also show a form of love that is necessary for Christians to thrive.
There are still times I question my worthiness in comparison to others. Satan has a way of knowing my weaknesses and whispers respect for myself is meaningless.
That is when I hold fast to God’s promises, reach out in prayer, and call on those closest to me for support and love.
God respects you more than anyone you know. Hang onto that promise.
Thought to Prayerfully Consider: How has God helped you respect yourself during a challenging time in your life?