RESPECT – Write 31:Day 9

respect

“A healthy Respect for God replaces all fear, for when He is on our side – what is left to be afraid of?” {1 Peter 2:17}

“I hate you”

When I was 16 years old my mother and I came to an impasse. Words were said  in anger. Tears begot broken hearts. Respect found itself tucked away in a place that was unavailable to her and me.

Lives were changed

Those three little words drove a silver stake into the heart of our relationship and it was forever altered from that moment forward. Although it has been many years since those tragic teenage years, the hurt lives on in my memories as well as those of my mother.  We’ve spent countless conversations in an effort to reform bonds lost those many years ago, and have made great strides to again become mother and daughter with all the respect that goes with it.

Years of trouble with my own children has taught me a few things I didn’t once know, like respect has to be given as well as deserved. I recall a moment when my oldest son was 16 and threw that little gem out to me while we were driving, and we started to go down that road I had traversed in my own angst moments. But I stopped myself. I knew the pain of allowing words to form my future with my children, and I wasn’t willing to spend the rest of my days trying to make up for them.

One thing that I have realized is that the source of those words is generally fear. Whether misplaced or not, fear will make our hearts cry out, saying things with malice we don’t often really mean.

Fundamentally that is what went wrong with my mother and me.  I had lost all sense of respect for not only her, but myself as well.  I allowed the fears in my heart to form words that I didn’t truly mean. And I have been paying for it ever since.

But God is a respecter of all persons, enough so to give us choices. He won’t demand or belittle us into submission, but show us truth and let us decide.  Sometimes we decide correctly, but many let the fear in their hearts decide for them.

Fear that says:

  • I am my own person, no one can tell me what to do
  • I’m not going to look ridiculous to my peers by saying I believe in something un-seeable
  • I work hard every day, and deserve what I have and more
  • I am in control of my own destiny

Fear of being insignificant, forgotten, or looked down upon causes the survival instinct within us to kindle, and respect for others is no longer a primary concern to us. But this is counterproductive. We could spend our lives fighting all that we think is working against us out of fear, or we can fear the only one worth fearing – God – and let Him take care of those troubles for us.

When we fear and respect God – what others think is no longer a concern. We can work hard each day knowing that someday we will get everything we deserve, even if it isn’t right now. Control is finally placed where it belongs and hope for our future grows because we know that His words are truth and that He is faithful to His promises.

When He is for us there is nothing left to fear: not people, not the enemy, not hell or death.

And that gives me HOPE

2respectDid you like this post? Please consider sharing it with a friend.  Post it on your facebook page, twitter feed, pinterest, or post your colored picture on instagram…where ever you think someone can use a little HOPE.

Don’t forget to click on the picture at the top of the page to download the pdf version of the RESPECT picture.  Color it and share, or enjoy yourself.

God bless your day!

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