I will be the first to admit that I am FAR from perfect. Nothing about me, my life, or the way I look, act, or talk is perfect. Nothing visually says she is imperfect like looking at a woman’s manicure. I just looked down and realized how badly I needed one! And then I struggle trying to figure out where in my day I am going to fit an extra hour and a half into my overly crowded schedule. Sometimes, I look down and think, “oh my God. My grandmother would be SO ashamed of me and the way in which I have maintained my nails.” Sometimes, my nails are chipped or broken or dirty. Some days, I walk into establishments dressed as the girliest girl in the place and other days, I look like…poop. Sometimes, I am dirty like a man. And I’m not just talking about my mouth (and for the peanut gallery out there, I have managed to reduce the number of bad words that come out of my mouth each day). If you’ve ever worked cows or welded, you know what kind of dirty I’m talking about. I can feel people looking down at me with a lack of respect because I don’t fit into “the box.”
But is that cause to be disrespectful to someone? Because they don’t fit into the same box or the same socioeconomic class or the same group of people or the same political party, church group…the list goes on. I have very strong opinions about what respect is and, like many, sometimes feel that I deserve respect because of how hard I have worked in life and what I have overcome. But sitting in church a few Sundays ago, I received a HUGE lesson on respect and what it means through God’s eyes. Not only was it humbling, it was disturbing.
We often think that respect is something that we are due. How many of you remember growing up and your parents would tell you that respect is earned- by the way you treat and interact with people. I don’t know about you, but I think we’ve lost that philosophy in life. We treat people how we feel they should be treated…based on how WE value them. We never give consideration to the fact that they are valued. No matter what. They are human beings. They have their own baggage and their own heartbreak and their own issues they are dealing with or going through.
We don’t give any consideration to the fact that they are divinely created and incredibly loved by our heavenly father. We don’t look at people and give them respect because we don’t stop and look at them through His eyes as being created in His image. We look at them and either disregard them or disrespect them because we look at them through OUR eyes. Through a worldly lens. We no longer give people the benefit of the doubt to grow into who God has destined them to be. We pigeonhole them into where we feel they should be on our ladder of success or political gain or social status. We don’t give people the chance to be people. We treat them like…well, I was going to say, like animals, but if you’ve been in this house, you know our animals live like kings.
And don’t think I’m writing this because I’m immune to this. Actually, most of the stuff I write and post is because of something that I have done/seen/felt and God is trying to change my heart and the way I look at people. My life is anything but perfect, and that includes me and my actions towards others. I know I need to have a change of heart towards some, and that is something I pray about every day.
My takeaway from all of this is….RESPECT (and showing respect to others) says more about you and your heart and very little about the person with whom you are interacting. Do I DESERVE respect? Probably not. Do I DEMAND respect. Probably more than I should. Do I GIVE respect without hesitation? Yeah….anyway. Let me get back to you on that one. You don’t have to like or approve of someone to show respect. And just an FYI, respect and kindness are two completely different things. That’s another topic for another day. So my hope is that as the lines become more clear, and the divisions more radical, that we can learn to be kind again. Nice. Respectful.
Love, Peace, and Pie.