Have you ever been confronted with someone you don’t necessarily respect?
- Perhaps it’s your in-laws
- Maybe it’s your boss or someone you work with
- Maybe your husband or a close family member
Fill in the ________. I bet you can probably name a couple of people that you don’t respect AND may or may not have said a few things about behind their backs. Well, very recently I, too, reflected on this thought. And while my urge to disrespect wanted to prevail, I meditated on a few thoughts to overcome this challenge. Although it can be difficult to practice honoring others for whom you don’t care, I think it’s important to note that despite our emotions we can rise above the challenge.
Here are a few thoughts on honoring others even when it’s hard.
- Say NO to gossip. This is probably the first GO-TO action when you lack respect for someone. It’s easy to go to your bestie and share everything that’s wrong with this person. However, gossip is detrimental to our soul. Scripture says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29) We will often fail, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to RUN away from gossip on the daily!
- Choose to look beyond their imperfections. Nobody is perfect. We must choose to see people for who they are–image bearers of God–and make the decision to honor them regardless of our differences. I encourage you to expect the best of them when you are confronted with their presence and keep your conversations cordial.
- Pray for them more than you talk about them. Next time you are tempted to talk about someone, I encourage you to pray for them, to seek God and let your heart be changed. You can’t change their actions or behavior, but you can change your response.
- Get to the root of your heart issue. Ask yourself, “Why?” Why do I feel this way about this person and keep going until you find the heart issue from your side of the coin.
Friends, we don’t have the power to change the responses of others, but we can always change our own response.
What do you say?