What NOT to Respect
One of the harder things in our culture concerning respect is that we may be taught that everything should be respected – other religions, other people’s lifestyle choices that are harmful, etc. That is not true. One cannot live a discerning life and think that all things are equal.
First of all, other religions are not equal with Christianity. Jesus gave his life for ours. Nice teachings of other religions are hardly comparable. God is large and in charge when it comes to faith matters, and He says that obeying Him brings blessing. Disobeying Him brings curses. (Deuteronomy 28, John 15-17) Romans 10:9-10 say that we have life if we believe God allowed Jesus to be crucified and then raised Him from the dead.
And how about those lifestyle choices? Teach your kids to be observers of results. Life is all about cause and effect. One example is the food choices we make (less fat, more fiber, a little exercise) and how they affect our quality of life as we get older. Consider stories in the news about teens or adults who drink and drive. While we feel compassion for those who make bad choices, we cannot demonstrate a respect for those choices.
Another thing NOT to respect is laziness. A lifestyle of constant TV and video games will not have the same outcome as a life of hard work and / or community service. One will tend to poverty and boredom; the other will be full of rewards and joy.
Speaking of media, we do not have to respect wrong opinions and lies. All ideas do not give the same end result. Whether it is national debt or religious freedom in other countries everyone has an opinion. The end results of dictatorships, evil governments, and hatred will always be agony, deprivation, and sorrow. Our government’s overspending will result in future hardships like inflation and diminishing economic output.
So while you consider what to respect, remember to compare your thinking to God’s thinking. Find scriptures if you are not sure about what is right and what is wrong. God is very vocal in the Bible about human behavior and choices. He loves everyone, but he does not promise the same results for all life choices. Be careful about what you respect.