Respect… This has been an interesting year wrestling through what respect means. In 1 Peter 2:17 it says, “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.” Some ladies and I were studying this towards the beginning of all the shutdowns. Peter talks about gentleness and respect a lot. He even gives details in case his readers get confused. As I was reading and studying Peter’s words, that are inspired by the Holy Spirit, I was convicted. I have a special gifting in sarcasm and sometimes snarkiness, especially when dealing with the frustrating and unknown. This year has been much of the frustrating and unknown. There have been faces of those in authority saying and doing things that are frustrating and foreign to me, which tempts me to go full snark. I knew as I studied 1 and 2 Peter that I am called to something different. I am called to love in the way of respect. I am still called to engage, but with respect. I continue to have to move slowly through issues, and methodically plod toward respect. There has been much repenting after a brief overflow of sarcasm aimed at a leader or two in these times. God keeps showing me how this does not help. Sowing discord is never helpful. When it gets really challenging it helps to remember that these people are made in the image of God. I can respect their God givenness in their humanity, imago dei. As I continue practicing, I find myself more prone to be thankful I am not in charge in these crazy days, and praying for wisdom and discernment for those that are. When I am choosing the way of respect, I am finding it leaves room for compassion.
Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths.