"Show proper respect to everyone." 1 Peter 2:17 NIV
Thoughts for Today
The third vital quality we need to develop in helping a hurting loved one—and in every relationship—is respect. People with life-controlling problems might not seem to deserve our respect, but our respect for them could be one of the keys to their healing. Even if their life is controlled by destructive behaviors, people deserve respect as a human being.
Respecting loved ones with a life-controlling problem doesn't mean you should own their problem or rescue them from taking responsibility for their behavior. It does mean you should treat them as equals and not put them down.
How is this possible? First, you need to separate them from their behavior. Look beyond their wrong behavior and see them as God's creation. Even though you cannot respect their wrongdoing, you can respect them as a person.
Second, remember that God loves us no matter what we do. He gave us free will even though we sometimes use that freedom in harmful ways. Jesus died for us while we were still sinners. If God shows us this kind of love and respect, how can we do less for each other?
Ask God to help you love and respect people as his creation even when you can't respect what they are doing. Difficult? Yes. But with Christ, all things are possible.
Lord, teach me to separate people from their behavior and learn to love and respect them as your creation. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
Understanding the Times. This book by Dr. Jimmy Lee offers biblical strategies for ministry to our family and friends. Contemporary issues and needs faced by society are addressed with biblical principles that are timeless. Ideal for small group leaders and Sunday school teachers who want a better understanding of ministry in an addictive culture. The qualities described in this week's devotions are derived from Gary Sweeten's work in Apples of God I and II. We appreciate his contribution.
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