Friday, August 17, 2018
Even before yesterday’s passing of the acclaimed “queen of soul”, Aretha Franklin, I was already thinking of her greatest and best known hit, “RESPECT.” In fact, every time I think of that word or topic, I think of her and her legendary song. You see, just recently, whether intentional or by accident, one individual disrespected me “big time.” By God’s grace, I was able stay quiet, keep my composure, and hide my real feelings. I’m pretty sure those around us didn’t notice a thing. With some folks I know, this offender would not have been so lucky. Later that night, during my “quiet time” with the Lord, I also added these two new petitions to Him: (1) “Please remove this stinging feeling and (2) help me to completely forget it.” Today, I can honestly say that God has removed the sting although its pretty apparent I haven’t completely forgotten the offence. Nevertheless, by His grace, God’s children can have perfect peace even when they don’t completely forget the offence (s). I know I do.
Throughout my many years as pastor, time and time again I have had to counsel with people who were disrespected and had an extremely difficult time dealing with it. Besides praying with them, I ask them to lift up to God the same petitions I just mentioned. I know God is faithful to comfort, remove the hurt, and help them “forget it.” I also remind them of what the Lord reminded me of recently. It is this: Christ was disrespected and He was the Son of God. Jesus told His disciples: “Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master. And since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, the members of my household will be called by even worse names!” (Matthew 10:25 NLT)
I know all of you have been disrespected at one time or another and I don’t know how you have handled it in the past. Nevertheless, the advice I have given others applies to you as well. Next time it happens, it is imperative that you take action as quickly as you can, if not instantaneously. If you don’t, the devil will have a field day with it. He will tell you that you don’t deserve that kind of treatment, that if anyone deserves respect, it is you. If you listen to his lies, things will only get worse for you and everyone around you. More importantly, he will have been successful of robbing you of the joy and peace Christ wants you to enjoy. C’mon, snap out of it, and as far as the offence is concerned, forget it.
God’s word for today: (Proverbs 19:11 NLT) “Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.”