Wow! Here's yet another powerful devotional message from Jon Walker. This is something I can't be reminded of enough, it seems. I think I've explained before that I'm a lets-get-it-done-and-check-it-off-the-list kind of person, while my husband is a stop-and-smell-the-roses kind of person. (He is such a better listener than me!) So often, when he is telling me something, I find myself finishing his sentences. While it may be "endearing" that I know him so well, it communicates quite a lack of respect. He'll sometimes gently say to me..."Hon, please let me finish...." ouch. You might well imagine this devotional message stepped all over my toes.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10 (NIV)
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Respect means we see one another through our Father’s eyes; as eternal beings, chosen by God “for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him;” as “heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” (1 Peter 2:9 MSG; Romans 8:17 NIV).
Our objective-in-Jesus is to consistently remember we’ll be sharing heaven with those in our small groups and congregations, even those we have difficulty respecting now. And God, in his wisdom, “put the body together in such a way that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity” (1 Corinthians 12:24 NLT).
We often miss this, but one of the simplest ways to show respect is to listen. We offer our presence and open our ears, listening to the hidden hurts and heartaches, the deepest dreams and desires of one another.
The truth is the God of the universe listens to our prayers, which does serious damage to any argument that we’re too busy. Busier than God?
Jesus listened to those around him and he listens to us, which destroys any argument that our mission is too important to listen. Or, is our mission, or even our daily tasks, more important than Jesus?
Our objective-in-Jesus is to respect others enough to let them get the whole story out before we rush in to give an answer, or jump in to fix things, or just plain react to what we think instead of what is true (1 Corinthians 1:10).
You don’t have to agree with what they say; that’s another matter, but unless you hear them out, you won’t even know what they mean. You show others respect, not because of who they are, but because of who they belong to - the same One who created you.
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Did you, like me, see yourself in this message?
Lord, help me keep at the forefront of my mind the importance of truly listening. While it may never be my intention to disrespect, the end result is the same. Remind me that checking things off my "to do list" should never take precedence over taking the time to truly listen and care for those you've so graciously placed in my life. I want to show love the way you would show love. I pray Lord, that you bring this message to mind next time I start to forget. Thank you Father for the loving example you are....