“Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Talk to younger men as you would to your own brothers. Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters.”
1 Timothy 5:1-2 NLT
Paul wrote to Timothy exhorting him how to treat others. Jesus commanded us to love others as ourselves (John 15:12.) By showing respect toward others also shows care for others. Paul knew that Timothy would face different challenges because of others. He would face remarks from elders, yet he is urged to respect them as his own father or mother. He would also face the temptation from young women in his ministry. Paul wanted Timothy to live a life above reproach and be an example of Christ to the world around him.
There are always thoughts running through our heads of how we should treat someone who challenges us. We are swayed to look down on others especially when we are on a stage. However God never intended the calling we have to go to our heads, but to be used by Him to minister to those we have a relationship with or encounter. What are some ways I can show respect to others?
- Be ready to listen. Jumping to conclusions before hearing the entire story can be a way to hurt a relationship. I should listen to what others have to say, but don’t react out of emotion, but respond in love. Proverbs says a gentle answer turns away wrath. Sometimes people just want to express their hurt or discomfort, by showing respect to others opens up the opportunity to build a relationship and even open the doors to share Christ.
- Seek God’s best for others. When I am looking for God’s best for someone we are caring about others as Christ would care for them. For men, we are to care for young ladies looking out for them. By doing this, we are caring for them and the future God has for them. I need to also see how I can help and encourage people and treat them as family. Sometimes our image of what a father, mother, brother, or sister, may be damaged. We do have a perfect example of how to treat others, Jesus. He touched those that were “unclean.” He called to those that felt they were worthless. He cared for the needs of others and ultimately sacrificed himself for us. Christ has called me to serve others as he has served us. I need to see to looking for God’s best in others.
Dear Jesus, thank you for being the perfect example of how to serve and love others. I ask that you help me to not judge others and to think of Your best for them. Help me to respect, look with love and care for all those I encounter. Please forgive me for the judgmental thoughts I have had and help me to respond in love and respect to those that challenge me. I love you and thank you for showing us how we should treat each other. In Your Name, Jesus. Amen.