~Philippians 2:3-4 [Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Teens raised by parents who have not taught them respect for others suffer a bum rap. Most people blame the teen but how can they know how to act if they have never been taught from God’s Word?? Unsaved teens have it especially hard in this area. :( Showing respect is shown in many ways: how you treat others, how you talk to people, and how you treat other people’s belongings. If you are a saved teen and have parents who have not taught you how to be respectful to others (and to respect their belongings), I pray that you will be blessed by today’s devotional. If you do have parents who have taught you, then this will confirm their teaching :)
To respect means:
To view or consider with some degree of reverence; to esteem as possessed of real worth.
When you can respect someone with Godly respect, you are honoring or reverencing them because of who they are, what their position is in life, and also because that is what God’s Word commands. For example, respecting those who are poor. Just because someone is poor doesn’t mean that they don’t have feelings. It doesn’t mean that they are poor because they want to be poor. I was raised poor and I was made fun of a lot! The kids at school made fun of my clothes, they made fun of the “side of town” I lived in, they made fun of my body, etc. That is not respectful – it is hurtful – and most of all, it is ungodly! To be able to respect others, one must learn humility (to be humble).
In case you don’t already know the definition of humility, it means:
In ethics, freedom from pride and arrogance; humbleness of mind; a modest estimate of one’s own worth. In theology, humility consists in lowliness of mind; a deep sense of one’s own unworthiness in the sight of God, self-abasement, penitence for sin, and submission to the divine will.
When you learn to be humble, you learn to look at yourself with different eyes. Rather than think of how great you are or all the things that you have or what you deserve in life, you realize that who you are and what you have are a gift from God. Your parents are a gift from God. No matter what you think about your parents, God wants you to respect them – respect their “office” as parents. You may have unsaved parents but that does not excuse you from respecting them. In fact, if you respect and honor them, it will be a testimony to them of your God and your faith. God blesses the one who honors, respects and loves their parents according to His Word. God has given a promise to you:
~Ephesians 6:2-3 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
What is that promise? The answer is in verse 3 :) If you are a true born-again teen who absolutely hates her parents, you are not obeying God! When you allow God to change you and work in your heart to learn to respect your parents, your attitude toward them will change. Take your eyes off yourself teenager! This is an important step in becoming an adult. If you want people to treat you with respect, then you must FIRST treat them with respect.
The home is the first place where children learn to respect others. If they learn to respect their parents, then they will already know how to respect older people, police officers, teachers, etc. If you are a teen whose parents have never taught these things to you, now is the time to start. This is a testimony of your faith in Christ and will bring blessings to you in the long run. It will also show your parents what Jesus can and will do in your life.
A girl who thinks “she’s all that” is a girl who will create a lot of drama in her life because of it. However, a girl who thinks of others first and places them ahead of her own needs in life is showing respect and honor.
~1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
Notice this verse says that God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. Wow! The teenager who thinks more of herself will be resisted by God. Think about this for a minute! When God resists her, it means He stands against her – He opposes her. What good can possibly come from that? Rather than take her eyes off herself and respect/honor others, she dwells on her feelings and what’s in it for her. She always thinks life is unfair. This is not God’s way and it will result in heartache and turmoil in your life.
Peter says to be clothed in humility. What are some examples of humility? When you come to a door along with others, open the door and let them go first and you go in last. When you see an old person struggling with a tray of food at McDonald’s, offer to take the tray to their table. When you see someone trip and fall, stop to ask if there’s anything you can do. When your church opens their kitchen to provide a meal for the poor, offer to help in the kitchen, or serving, or cleaning up. When you see a bully at school picking on someone, step in and do the right thing. When you see a girl at school who has no friends or is made fun of by your friends, leave them and go talk to her – be a friend to her. When there’s a banquet at your church, offer to get a senior saint’s food for them.
This is respect. It shows that you are viewing other people with the eyes of God :) If you are guilty of being disrespectful, confess it to God and ask Him to help you learn! Then look around you. Watch your parents and see how you can work on respecting them and honoring them. Doing the laundry for your Mom so she can sit and read a book is a great way to honor her. Getting your Dad a cold soda when he comes home shows a humble spirit. Teaching your younger brothers and sisters by your actions will be a blessing to your parents. :)
When a girl is humble, she thinks of others rather than herself. She shares with her brothers and sisters – she puts others’ needs before her own. As a result, she respect others – she doesn’t place anyone “above” another; in other words, she treats everyone equal. :)