All posts by Sue

R-E-S-P-E-C-T – part 6

(Part 6 – Grace & Respect Walk Hand in Hand)

Let’s make sure that the words we speak to our children include words
of grace and respect.

Chuck Swindoll

     If you’re a regular Listening on the Journey… reader, you know the last few blog posts have focused on the matter of respect. This topic has triggered many subsequent thoughts for me. In the last post, I communicated the notion that respect is linked to love.

     Today, I’d like to introduce another thought: Grace walks hand in hand with respect.

     One reader commented that respect is learned from childhood, and I couldn’t agree more. Children who are treated with respect and who watch respect modeled in the home will be more likely to grow into respectful adults.

     Nothing breaks my heart more than when I hear reports of child abuse.

     Like most conduct, abusive behavior toward children lies on a continuum of ultra-permissiveness to cruel violence. Most of us have at times fallen somewhere on the continuum.

     I’m a grandmother now, but I remember my parenting years well. Sometimes—usually, because I was too tired to expend the energy required—I was guilty of not administering loving, fair, consistent discipline.

     At other times—usually because I was too frazzled to discipline my own frustration—I raised my voice unnecessarily, made a comment I’d regret later or was overly harsh in response to my child’s age-appropriate behavior.

     Devaluing children has been common throughout the ages. I love the way Jesus acknowledged little ones:

     People brought babies to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. When the disciples saw it, they shooed them off. Jesus called them back. “Let these children alone. Don’t get between them and me. These children are the kingdom’s pride and joy. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” (Luke 18:15-17 MSG)

     As I was getting ready to write today’s post, I decided to Google “grace and respect” to see if anyone else had linked these two attributes. My search unearthed the wonderful quote I used to introduce this post from Chuck Swindoll, one of my favorite contemporary Bible teachers.

     Showing grace and respect to children is a great starting point. Grace-filled words and respectful actions— whether to our own sons and daughters, precious grandkids like Emmi and Reeve in the photo below, or the disruptive little one in the restaurant or on an airplane—reflect the heart of Jesus.

     Today’s post concludes the R-E-S-P-E-C-T series. Next time, I’ll begin a series I’ve entitled, Grace Speaks… I hope you’ll join me.

     Until then, blessings on your journey. May your days be filled with grace and respect…

Sue Reeve

 

 

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

(Part 5 – Respect Linked to Love)

Respect everyone…

1 Peter 2:17

     I can’t seem to shake off the theme of my last few blog posts, “respect,” which was kindled as I heard people celebrate the life of Aretha Franklin. The ‘Queen of Soul’s’ rendition of the Otis Redding tune is the plea of a woman to her man, asking for ‘just a little bit’ of respect. Whether from my ‘man,’ a parent, child, boss, doctor, religious leader, public servant or grocery store clerk, ‘a little bit’ of r-e-s-p-e-c-t goes a very long way!

     This morning I woke much earlier than intended. In fact, I’d already been up two hours when my bedside alarm sounded. Since I couldn’t sleep, I decided to be productive. Between loads of laundry, sorting through paperwork and organizing some countertop clutter, my thoughts turned once again to the matter of respect.

     As I thought, I imagined sitting down with Jesus, and over cups of steaming coffee, discussing respect. (By the way, I can’t even imagine Jesus wouldn’t like coffee!)

     What would Jesus say about respect? I wondered if he might begin by reminding me of this Scripture:

[An expert in religious law asked,] “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40 NLT)

     God-honoring respect, I believe, is always linked to love.

     Much of my life, I’ve struggled with nagging feelings of being unloved and unlovable. As a result, I’ve often been judgmental toward others, and I’ve lapsed easily into self-condemnation. Since I believe Scripture is true, and because God’s love is a recurring theme throughout the Bible, I’ve wrestled with this matter more than once.

     While pursuing truth, I’ve grown in the realization that the more I seek to love God with my entire—albeit imperfect—being, the more God reveals to me how loved and valued I am. The more I accept God’s love, the more I view others (my neighbors) and myself through a prism of divine worth and love.

     In writing the past few blog posts, I’ve also realized, the more I feel loved by God, the easier it is for me to show respect toward others—even those with whom I disagree—and, in turn, the more self-respect I feel.

     Progress is a process! In the journey to becoming more like Jesus in character and behavior, sometimes, it seems, I know I’m progressing, and other times I lament, “Are you ever going to get it!”

     To you who are traveling this journey with me,

          Let’s link arms of faith.

               Let’s keep learning to love liberally.

                    Let’s keep growing in grace.

                         Let’s commit to respecting one another—more than ‘just a little bit.’

Blessings on your journey…

Sue Reeve

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Thoughts on Labor Day 2018

     Today, September 3, 2018, the first Monday of September, is a national holiday set aside to honor men and women who work hard and keep our nation running.

     The past couple weeks my blog posts have focused on the topic of respect, a value that is critical to me. Thoughts about what respect involves were ignited when Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul, died, and one of her signature hits, R-E-S-P-E-C-T, was played repeatedly.

     The other evening, my husband and I took an early evening walk along Coeur d’Alene Lake. While strolling through Mc Euen Park on our way back to the car, we stopped at a beautiful memorial which honors a local police officer who was killed in the line of duty. I imagine you won’t be surprised when I tell you the word RESPECT, etched on a large stone in front of a lighted water fall at the memorial, grabbed my attention.

     The sentiment etched above the word RESPECT, seems fitting for today:

As long as there are men and women among us who are
willing to put their lives at risk for our freedom and safety,
there is indeed great hope for the future of the nation and our world.
     I’d like to express the deep respect I have for those men and women who go to work, and in doing so, literally lay their lives on the line daily.

     I’d like also to voice my respect for those willing to get out of bed day after day, year after year, making their way to factories, stores, restaurants, offices, hospitals and schools. Your willingness to labor faithfully makes our families and communities better!

Thank you, and may you feel blessed on this day honoring you!

Sue Reeve