Thursday, November 4, 2010

Respect, or Lack of It

I typed a simple but true statement on my fb yesterday: I'll be in India the same time as the President. We won't be in the same city and, obviously, not in the same hotel since they've booked their entire place for security reasons. Your tax dollars hard at work, people. I got some replies and after Jessica got home from school (and posted a reply as well, btw) she commented that I was getting some interest in my status. She happened to be writing a paper for her dual-credit English class which she titled "A Certain Decline" and that led us to a conversation about respect and whether or not I should delete my status, make my own comment to it, or do nothing.  The paper is about the decline of respect for authority in our country. I'm not saying that any of the comments posted on fb were showing a lack of respect - I'm just writing my thoughts following a conversation I had with my daughter.

I think respect has become one of those words that has lost some of its value because we throw it around so much. It's like love - we love macaroni and cheese, we love our Texas Rangers, we love our spouse and children. But, really, we love God. There are people who think they deserve respect just because they are breathing but they haven't necessarily done anything to earn respect. There are people who think you must respect them and those they agree with but fail to show respect for others. It's all a one-way street for some people.

Take, for instance, the liberal media. Watching MSNBC or the  tv show The View is like watching the movie Mean Girls. Granted, I don't watch either but I've seen clips on my only source for the news, FoxNews. But, by all means, according to those people, don't say anything negative about our current president. If you do, you might be labeled a racist or ignorant or something similar.

Here's what I believe, I don't have to agree with the political views of any elected official. I don't have to agree with my pastor or the local police department. But, these people have done something to earn respect and it is my duty to show respect to the office each holds. We can't just respect people in authority when we agree with them. I guess that is why I bawled like a baby (ok, that might be an exaggeration but those of you who know me know I cry at the drop of a hat) when the former Presidents Bush came at to throw out the first pitch at the World Series the other night at the Ballpark in Arlington. I loved it, loved it (yes, I am using the love word and I mean it) that they got such a great welcome. And, as I noted on my fb status, George W Bush rocked it - he totally threw a strike to Nolan Ryan at home plate! Those that insist we be tolerant and show respect to some didn't, and continue to not, show respect to our former president and anyone else in authority that they happen to not agree with.

So, Jessica and I decided that I should quote some Scripture as a comment to my own fb status. We took parts of verses from Romans 13. I didn't do it as a rebuke to anyone who posted on my status but as a reminder to myself of my own obligation to live the way in which Christ instructs me to live. Sometimes that is really hard. My next fb status was a quote from Jessica, "Always end with Scripture. It trumps every argument."

You know, if we - believers and followers of Jesus - really lived what we say we believe, lived our lives according to Scripture, I wonder what the world would look like. Would we be more loving, more caring, more forgiving, more respecting? Would we be so busy going and making disciples that some of the petty stuff we get hung up with wouldn't even matter? Would we be more concerned with modeling respectful living to our children than getting the last word in or voicing our distaste with everything that irritates us? 

I don't know about you but I needed a gut-check on this one. Like our pastor always says, "If you can't say amen, say ouch!" I'm saying both today.

Serving the King,


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