“Giving Honor and Respect” by Pastor Tim Burt
Prov 29:21 “If a man pampers his servant from youth, he will bring grief in the end.”
If you had to guess as to where respect for authority was taught and carried out better than any place you can think of, where would you guess? My guess would be, the military. It is something they demand and ingrain into every single soldier. The respect they show to those in authority is an example that this country could greatly benefit from if people paid attention.
I love respect and giving honor where it’s due. I wasn’t always that way, but it certainly was shaped within my heart since I’ve become a Christian. God’s Word has so much to say about having the ‘fear of the Lord,’ and respecting authority. That doesn’t mean God wants us to fear Him like we would fear someone or something that was evil or would cause harm. No it means to have a reverence and awe of the Lord for who He is. It is in this relationship, that God takes His rightful place on the throne of our heart. When we reverentially fear the Lord, He will never be a casual or profane subject of our conversation. He’ll be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Psa 33:8 says, “Let all the earth reverentially fear the LORD; let all the people of the world stand in awe of Him.” It’s no wonder people don’t put much trust in God. They have minimized who He is in their hearts and unknowingly hindered their own ability to have great faith in Him because they haven’t awed at His greatness, ability and love.
The Lord wants us to revere Him. He also wants us to give honor and respect wherever it is due. Rom 13:7-8 says, “Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.”
God considers giving honor and respect a debt that is not paid when it is not given. That is a thought contrary to all we see before us. God’s Word foretells us that as we approach the second coming of Jesus Christ, that respect will be something that will be in short supply. 2 Tim 3:1-4 reveals, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God–” All that is listed here is a product of having no respect or honor for any position of authority. It is a problem that undermines unity, order, and the blessing that God desires to bring into our lives.
We see this problem in its grass roots in today’s Fresh Manna verse. It says, “If a man pampers his servant from youth, he will bring grief in the end.” I don’t know if you can instantly see what’s wrong with the picture painted in this verse but it’s bad. The picture is saying that the servant is showing disrespect and grief to the one he is in authority to. The one in authority in his attempt to be kind and maybe overly compassionate is pampering the servant (or child which is implied in the original Hebrew) and will have regrets in the end. Again the original Hebrew implies that in the end, you will want to hold this person or child out at an arm’s length from your life because they will turn out to be a problem.
To really understand this, understand the position or definition of a servant. A servant is a person “who is privately or publicly employed to perform domestic services who expresses submission, recognizance, or debt to another: your obedient servant.” A person in authority is “one who has been given the power to enforce laws, exact obedience, command, determine, or judge.” There are times when most of us walk in some position of authority and then there are times when we all walk as a servant under someone’s authority. We are all ultimately under God’s authority. Because of this, we are to give honor, respect, and even reverence where it is due. We are to receive that same respect when appropriate.
If we let our children grow up without showing respect and honor to whom it is due, then they themselves will in all likelihood, grow up as someone that will not have the respect of others. God’ Word says that will lead to grief. Of course we are always to be understanding and considerate with our children, but when they don’t respond rightly, we are to remember that the parent is in authority and that the child is the one under authority – similar to the servant in needing to respect and obey. Pamper and put up with disrespect and you will later live to regret it.
The same is true with an employer. Although one in authority has the responsibility to be caring, kind, and considerate in his or her management style, at the point that an employee begins to take advantage of his kindness and whines or show disrespect for instruction and command, that person is a growing problem. Pamper that kind of a person and you will live to regret they work for you. Don’t let this turn you into a dictator. Be a godly boss but, don’t let their inappropriate behavior change your appropriate behavior. Simply enforce what is right and give them time to respect authority or let them go.
For the employee or person that is showing disrespect or causing grief to anyone that is in authority, recognize that you’ve become the pampered servant that is heading for trouble. Fix yourself before trouble comes upon you and be sure to reverence God and thank Him for teaching you this valuable lesson. It will save your life in more ways than you know. It will also help keep the channels of blessing open. Lastly, it will keep your heart pliable and teachable which are characteristics of a very promotable quality – humility.
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved