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Diss Respect?

Jeff Rasche

Here are a few sure-fire ways to let someone know you don’t respect them:

  1. Roll your eyes when another person speaks. This is especially useful for parents, siblings, teachers, preachers—anyone who won’t quit talking when you’re done listening.
  2. Text. Whenever you are with someone you disrespect, spend the time texting someone else. Focus on your phone; laugh at the texts you receive; and no matter what, don’t look at the person you are with.
  3. Name Calling FTR  TSP 79167637Ridicule. If someone is saying something serious, burst out laughing. For extra effect, add, “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard!” Or jump right in when others are teasing a kid at school. Ridicule is a great tool to help people know how unimportant they are to you.
  4. Interrupt whatever another person is saying. Blurt out, “That’s nothing!” Then tell a better story about yourself.
  5. Ignore people you don’t respect. Don’t talk to them, and pretend not to hear what they say. Even if the last open seat on the bus is next to them, choose to stand or to sit on someone else’s lap rather than to sit with them.
  6. Be Rude. Burp at the table, push other people out of your way, or let go of the door when they are walking through. Rudeness is a powerful way to tell others, “You don’t matter to me.”
  7. Disregard the rules. Wear your muddy shoes as you walk across the carpet, chew gum in class, leave your stuff all over the place—you get the idea: Breaking rules lets the people who made the rules know you don’t respect them.
  8. Be late or don’t show up. Keep people you disrespect waiting. They’ll figure out that you disrespect them, and maybe they will quit trying to hang out with you.

Some people might ask, “Didn’t Jesus tell us to treat others as we want to be treated?” Yes, he did; so if you choose to respect Jesus’ teachings, if you want others to respect you, definitely do the opposite of all the hints listed above. [Warning: You might have to look up from the phone and listen to people you’re with.] Respecting others can be tough at times, especially when disrespect is your first inclination. Think carefully as you decide how you want to treat other people.

 

DIG DEEPER

Imagine how your life would be different if nobody respected you. Nobody would pay attention to you; they would treat you as if you didn’t matter. It would be pretty lonely, even painful. By contrast, treating others with respect is a way to show God’s love; it builds people up and makes them feel valued and important.

painting FTR TS 105951201Many Christians show respect for others because they believe God created us all. If we want to honor an artist, we proudly display and preserve the artist’s works of art; we don’t trash what the artist has made. The same is true for God, the master artist, and for the works of art God has created. Another simple reason to respect others is found in Jesus’ teaching: “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31, NRSV).

Whenever you struggle with showing respect, pray this prayer based on Psalm 8:
Almighty God, your greatness is seen in all the world! When I consider your awesome creation, I wonder why you even notice human beings, let alone care for them! Yet you have created people to be inferior only to you, and you constantly let us know how important we are to you. Teach me to show your love, care, and respect to all the people I meet, for you lovingly created them too. Amen.

Jeff Rasche works at Chaddock, a United Methodist ministry in Quincy, Illinois, that seeks to help severely abused and neglected children recover from the heartless disrespect they have experienced in their lives.

—from devozine (May/June 2015). Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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