Building Your Foundation of Respect and Authority


Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
http://www.freshmanna.org

Luke 6:46 Jesus said, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”

Renee and I have four children two years apart in age. When our children were growing up, there was something we felt was foundational for them to learn. Something that we knew would benefit them and those they forged acquaintances and relationships with as they grew up. It was developing an attitude of respect for people and learning to honor authority.

Respecting authority: those are two words that are powerful together and that also each carry powerful significance standing alone. When I think of respect, I think of looking at and holding someone in esteem and honor. Most people know how to do that and will to some degree do that to a recognized person in some higher office – maybe the president of the company you work for, or the Police Chief, or the Governor of your state. If you were to greet them in person, you might show respect to them because of the office they stand in. Most people get that and will show respect for a person standing in an office they deem worthy of respect.

God wants us to show respect to every person as though each person were walking in some significant office because they are – the office of life. God has helped train me to look at each and every person as one given an “office” – a significant role in life to play – one who has been created by Almighty God and put here to fulfill that role. It’s only in that light that we can understand why we should give every person respect. If I look at each individual as someone God put on this earth for a purpose and plan to walk out – “their office,” then I can understand they are a person created by God to give respect to.

Oh, I am just like you. I can too often and too easily be rubbed the wrong way by a person. I can look and quickly see negative things that make me want to treat a person with less than respect. But, that is where, as a Christian, I have to back up and realize that they might not yet know Jesus. They may be clueless in understanding that they have been created for a God given purpose – that they have a role to serve the Lord in. Their personal lifestyle may be filled with sin and contrary to everything I believe in. That would have the potential to tempt me not to respect someone. But, you see there was a time when I was the one who was lost. There was a time when I was clueless to whom Jesus really was. There was a time when I was an enemy through my thoughts, words, and deeds to God’s plan in this earth. There was a time when I was living like a reprobate and noted by some as not worthy of respect.

It was a fellow employee who showed me respect even though she knew about the corrupt behavior of my lifestyle. My lifestyle was contrary to everything she believed in. Even so, she still showed me respect and kindness and she still took the time to share the love of Jesus with me. It led me to giving my life to Christ. All because she gave me more respect than I deserved. She learned to live and walk out what Phil 2:3-5 instructs that makes respect for all possible. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…”

Authority is the other word of significance I mentioned. In today’s Fresh Manna verse, Jesus spoke these words; “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” The Greek word for “Lord,” brings implies the definition of respect and authority. It means supreme in authority and implies showing respect to the office. Those of Jesus’ day were just like the people of today. They threw words around loosely and carelessly. The words they used didn’t carry the meaning they were supposed to. So Jesus said, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” He was saying to them, “Why do you give me the title of supreme in authority and the title of one who is in the most significant office, but you do listen to what I say?”

Why do we do that with God? Far too often we are guilty of treating His words with just about the same respect and authority we treat others – almost non-existent. That is how the world would teach you to walk out respect for authority – forget about it. Look at the media. The media is filled with wolves – people that talk and talk and talk about things they know little about while slamming people in positions of authority with almost zero respect for them as an individual or for their office of authority.

If this is our manner of life toward God, it will probably be our manner of life toward all people. Yet if you will learn to reverence and hold in high esteem the things that God is saying to you today, and if you will learn to treat those around you with respect today, everything will change! Over time through that given respect, you will have greater doors of influence open to you. Your favor with others will continually grow.

I taught this to my children when they were young. They had to learn to try and walk it out in there teens. They are learning to see the value of it as young adults. It would help us be more obedient to God. Jesus said, “If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to mature in your godly character, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:46-48 “

It would help us treat each other with greater love and warmth and shine brighter as Christians in a dark and cold world.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
http://www.freshmanna.org

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