Respect: A Foundational Element to Building Bridges

I was reviewing last week’s article, and I noticed that in the correlation I made between “loving others” and “making Jesus accessible” I created a space for us to do two things, to love in word or love in deed. Reflecting on this, a caricature popped into my mind of a person dispensing a well intentioned “Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life!” into every casual encounter with the hope that by doing this Jesus will be made accessible. While I believe that people need to hear that message, I also believe that people need to see that message. This is where loving “in deed” and “respect” comes in. Before we can love anyone, we must be able to respect them as people created in God’s image. Jesus, who created us in his image, came to earth as a man, in our image. If we are to love others by making Jesus accessible, we need to be able to see the image of Jesus in them. I commented to my wife recently that honor is earned, but respect is granted. If we want to honor someone through loving them, we must first grant them the respect due to the image of God. (1 John 4:19-21, NIV)

 

Grace and peace,

Brook

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