We often think about respect in terms of vertical relationships with have with others—respect for parents, teachers, and people in authority. Those are important, but equally important are the more horizontal relationships we have with people, like siblings, friends, and even people we may not get along with. This idea of valuing others and having mutual respect is seen all throughout Scripture and is a necessary way to communicate with others and demonstrate God’s love with them.
We see throughout Scripture that all people have value because they were created in God’s image. God values us and wants a forever relationship with us. God sent Jesus to make that possible. We follow God’s example when we show others that they have value too.
This month is all about respect: showing others they are important by what you say and do.
When we use kind words, include others, listen or let others go first, we show them respect. When it comes to showing respect, Jesus told us how to do that: treat others like you want to be treated.
Take a moment to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. How would you want to be treated? Write down your thoughts in the space below. Ask God to help you to show
respect this week.
It’s time for recess. You want to play Tag, but all your friends want to play kickball.
You and your brother are fighting over the remote.
Your Mom is carrying in a bunch of stuff into the kitchen. You’re sitting at the table playing a game.
Your sister is telling a story and it reminded you of something that happened at school. You really want to interrupt her to tell your story!
Think back over this past week. When did you feel respected? What happened?
It’s easy to think about ourselves and how we feel. But in today’s verse, Paul shares that people who show others respect do the opposite! Instead of looking out for themselves, people who show respect look out for others.
Grab a card and write out the words of today’s verse in big block letters. Decorate the card any way you choose but make it colorful, so it stands out. Now tape that card on a mirror. Every time you look at yourself in that mirror, stop, read the verse aloud, and ask God to help you put others first as you show them respect with your words and actions.
We all have a big sense of fairness. We want to take turns. To share. To divide things equally. However, sometimes it’s impossible to make things fair for everyone.
But it’s possible to treat everyone the same. It’s possible to show respect to everyone. The key is found at the beginning of this verse. What does James say? “You are in…………our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.” What’s the missing word? Yes! When you put faith or trust in Jesus, He will help you treat everyone the same. He doesn’t expect you to do it by yourself!
Every day, before you head out the door for school, stop and pray this prayer: “Jesus, help me treat everyone the same, today.”
Back in New Testament times, Jewish families were required to go to a tax collector to pay the taxes they owed to the Roman government. But tax collectors could be dishonest, charging their fellow Jews far more than what was owed so they could keep the extra for themselves. People didn’t like them too much.
Most Jewish people would never hang out with tax collectors. But Jesus did. Jesus paid attention to those who were left out or overlooked. He loved people who others didn’t.
Jesus loves us too. Even when we mess up or fail. He invited even the tax collectors to follow Him, and Jesus invites you to follow Him too.
When you’re with your family, take a moment to read Luke 5:30-32 and discuss the following questions:
Who were the Pharisees? Why did they complain about Jesus?
What was so important about Jesus’ answer?
How can you show respect to others like Jesus?
As your kid starts their day, let them know how glad you are that they are part of your family, and what an important place they have within it.
At a meal, have everyone at the table answer this question: “Tell us about a time when you included someone who was being left out OR a time when you were being left out and someone included you.”
While on the go, ask your kid: “When has someone been kind to you lately? And when were you kind to someone lately?”
Pray for each other: “Jesus, open our eyes to help us see those around us who are being left out. Help us to show Your love to them by being kind and including them. And when we feel left out, help us remember that You NEVER leave us out.”