Respect others as you want to be respected

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Have you ever been disrespected?

Have you ever – in your thoughts, words, attitudes or actions – disrespected someone else?

If so, why do we act so offended when someone treats us disrespectfully?

Is it right for us to take offense when people misjudge us, speak ill of us, reject us? When they rudely disagree with us? Invade our schedule or ignore our wishes? Fail to appreciate us?

If something doesn’t change soon, it’s scary to think how much this cycle of disrespect could escalate.

How might it break the cycle if we chose to purposely alter the way we treat one another? We want to be treated with fairness, integrity, honor, appreciation and love, right? So does everyone else.

How would it impact our homes, churches, workplaces, communities and social media if we heeded Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:12 (ESV): “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them”?

If you can relate to this issue, what steps can you take this week to change your behavior? Would you like God to help you be kind to your spouse, friends, strangers – and to those who treat you unfairly?

What if we asked God to help us practice this week’s verse in every relationship and in all our communication? We can start by memorizing Matthew 7:12 and asking the Holy Spirit to show us whenever we fall short of living the Golden Rule – and then to give us the grace and will to do better.

It may take time for most of us (me, for sure) to see improvement in ourselves. In fact, as we allow God’s Spirit to convict us each time we mess up, we may be embarrassed to see how often we put our own needs and feelings ahead of others. Especially in our thought life and attitudes.

Let’s not become discouraged. The same God who convicts us has also promised to work in us to help us treat others with the same respect we desire (and need) to be treated.

As a society, we can’t break the cycle of disrespect until someone chooses to take the first step to stop its escalation in our homes, churches, workplaces or communities.

Let's be that one.

Sheryl H. Boldt, a Franklin County resident, is the author of the blog, www.TodayCanBeDifferent.net. Connect with her at SherylHBoldt@gmail.com.

Sheryl Boldt, faith, respect

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