Showing Respect – Part # 2
Posted on July 7, 2017
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(I Peter 2:13-23)
INTRODUCTION: We live in a very rude world. And unfortunately, people are becoming ruder by the minute. Common courtesy isn’t so common any more. It seems that respect for people is at an all time low. Our favorite kind of humor today is sarcasm — put down humor. Whether it is one of the many late night comedians who many tune in and listen to, to hear them put down society. Their favorite targets are those in authority, those in leadership; those who should be respected if for no other reason than because of their position.
I Peter 2:17 “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”
But the Bible makes it very clear that respect is one of those values that is necessary for life. The Bible is very specific about this. Make your attitude and your responses in situations a serious matter of prayer. Remember it may be you with the wrong attitude. Ask God to give you insight to determine the right behavior in situations that can cause you to get angry. (Ecclesiastes 7:9 – Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.)
In this 2 part series we are considering the why and how of showing respect. In part #1 of this 2 part series we examined the “why” and in part #2 we will examine the “how”.
5 PRACTICAL WAYS TO SHOW RESPECT – In a world that’s full of rudeness and disrespect, how can we show respect to others in a practical way?
When We Speak, Be Tactful, Not Just Truthful. Proverbs 15:4 “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.”
What is tact?
- Tact is the ability to make a point without making an enemy.
- Tact is when you tell someone to go jump off a cliff in a way that makes them look forward to the journey.
- Tact is treating everybody as if they knew what they were talking about.
- Tact is the art of telling someone he’s open minded when he’s really just got a hole in his head.
The primary way we show respect is with our words.
- ‘Wholesome‘ carries with it the idea of healing or curative.
- This verse reminds us that we need to give attention to how we speak. Paul admonished us to ‘Speak the truth in love’
- The way we say something will go a long way in determining how well it’s going to be received. Learning how to be truthful and tactful at the same time is an absolute essential of being respectful.
- People with tact often have a lot less to retract. We don’t have to eat our words as often if we say them in a kind way.
- Many people today don’t understand this; they often confuse rudeness with frankness. “I just tell it like it is and let the chips fall where they may!” That’s not being frank; that’s being mean and disrespectful to people.
The Power of the tongue – Solomon wrote about the power of the tongue in (Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.)
“The power of the tongue” to do Good.
- The tongue has the ability to dispense good council and wisdom from trusted Godly leaders when we need it. (Proverbs 10:20 – The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.)
- The tongue has the power of encouragement. The right word at the right time can do wonders to encourage someone with a heavy heart. (Proverbs 12:25 – Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.)
- The tongue has the power to stop anger before it has a chance to boil over. (Proverbs 15:1 – A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.)
- Using your words in a Godly uplifting way can bring great joy. The tongue can be the source of many good fruitful works in our life. (Proverbs 15:23 – A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!)
The power of the tongue” to do Evil.
- In the list of 7 abominations in the sight of God, Solomon mentions lying lips and those that sow discord among the brethren. (Proverbs 6:17,19 – A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.) – Notice in the same sentence that God condemns murder; He mentions and condemns lying as well. To tell a lie, especially about another Christian, is a serious sin. (Colossians 3:9 – Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;)
- A person with a perverse tongue will fall into mischief. (Proverbs 17:20 – He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.)
- Gossip will cause deep and lasting wounds. (Proverbs 18:8 – The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.)
- Notice what the “abomination” is in this passage. It is one who uses his or her tongue to sow discord among the brethren or among saved people.
- Your tongue has a lot of potential, potential to do good and potential to do evil. What are you using your tongue for? Are you building up your friends and people you know or are you tearing them down behind their back? Are you spreading lies about someone? Are you gossiping about someone? Are you using the power of your tongue for good or for evil?
When We Are Served, Be Understanding Not Demanding. Luke 6:31 “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”
- One of the greatest tests of our character is how we treat people when they serve us. Waitress, waiters, clerks, employees, even family!
- When people are doing something for us, are we understanding or are we demanding?
- It takes no intelligence at all to be rude. But it takes great character and great maturity to be understanding, and not demanding, of people. The best place to practice this is at home.
- I know people who treat their families in ways they would never consider treating a stranger. They say hurtful things to their families or people they know that they would never consider saying to someone they didn’t know. That’s not right. God says even in our families we need to be understanding, not demanding.
When We Disagree, Be Gentle Not Judgmental. Romans 14:12 “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” This verse reminds us that ultimately we will all give an accounting before the Lord.
- I am going to give an account to God for myself and everyone else will give an account for themselves.
- Judgment belongs to God, not me.
- I can disagree with you on any number of issues, without becoming disagreeable or judgmental.
- Remember, telling the truth is not being judgmental.
- But if I use the truth to attack and beat people down, then I am wrong. (Ephesians 4:29 – Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.)
- Paul reminded us that if we don’t have love, then people won’t hear the message of truth that we want to proclaim. (I Corinthians 13:1 – Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.)
- We can be right on an issue but if we’re rude about it, we’re wrong!
When We Share Our Faith, Be Respecting Not Rejecting. I Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”
- We cannot argue people into heaven.
- We won’t see them come to Christ if our attitude is wrong when we are talking to them about God or the Bible.
- When we share our faith we must do so with gentleness and respect.
When People Are Rude, Respond Politely. Romans 12:17 “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.” Don’t retaliate by being rude back. That only makes things worse. A good rule of communication is “Act, don’t react.” God expects us to react to every situation, every individual, in manner that is biblical. (Ephesians 4:31-32 – Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.)
IN CONCLUSION: We all want to be respected. We want other people to treat us with dignity. The Bible makes it very clear that respect is one of those values that is necessary for life. The Bible is very specific about this. We find that we are to respect parents, people in authority, and church leadership. Being respectful and courteous to people is one of the great evidences that you know God. How you treat people and the amount of respect you show to those in leadership positions over you is a good reflection on your true heart condition to God. How about you? What could people glean from how respectful or disrespectful you are to others in your life? Would they determine that you have a good heart relationship with the Lord or a bad heart relationship with the Lord? (Mark 7:6 – He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.)