Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Continuing our discussion of what to respect…

#3  For other people God has made
Other people belong to God.  They are His creation, and they are precious to Him.  Whether we like them or not, whether they are like us or not, we are not to judge their value as any less than ours.  How can we judge someone as lesser without leaving behind a question that we might be lesser?

Several categories of people are given precedence in the scripture:
  • The elderly – Leviticus 19:32 (also numerous places in Proverbs)
  • The poor – Galatians 2:10, James 2:5, several of Jesus’ parables
  • Widows & orphans – James 1:27
Children also need to be taught to be respectful toward their peers and siblings.  Sarcasm, cut-downs, and one-upmanship are not godly patterns.  They are tied to pride and selfishness.  While this means hard work for parents to train against the sin nature of childish humanity, the payoff is rich!

#4  The property of others
One of the basic things God addressed in Levitical law (Old Testament) was what was to happen if someone damaged the property of another.  Examples were given for when a man killed his neighbor’s cow.  The basic concept was the need to replace something that was damaged.  In present day terms this can be as simple as not throwing trash in someone else’s yard or in replacing a toy broken while visiting a friend.

The founders of the United States included basic tenets of ownership and respect for property in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.  Property ownership is part of the American Dream.

Even children have a sense of what is theirs, of what they have dominion over.  This is why parents must not ignore children’s requests for parental assistance when guests’ children abuse their belongings.  When we hosted a small group meeting in our home, we had separate toys that were put out during that time.  We did not require our children to share everything.  We respected that as their dominion, and allowed them to decide what they wanted to bring out or not. 

As adults, we share what we choose to share.  My husband and I have a rule that if we borrow something, we return it in as good or better shape.  What we lend, we must be willing to let it go if something happens to it.  We do not loan what we cannot afford to replace ourselves.     

This is golden rule and then some.  Not only do we “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, but we do unto others as Jesus has done for us.



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