4 Surprising Ways to Get the Respect You Need

January 9, 2013 — 2 Comments


First, do we even need respect? Doesn’t Paul say if we have food and shelter then we should be content? Doesn’t that mean that everything else is just a want and not a need?

[This post is part of a series about 6 aspects of the Gospel that overpower our desire to lust]

What about psychological needs? Does the Bible really teach that we don’t need respect, love, and loyalty from the people around us? If a husband is not getting respect from his wife or a wife not getting love from her husband, does the Bible teach that they should just forego that need and do their part without expecting anything in return?

The popular way to define a need is anything necessary to live a healthy life. But I think that way of thinking about needs verses wants is based more on the theory of evolution than the teaching of Scripture.

Defining Needs and Wants

I would suggest the following as a better way to define need verses want:

“A need is anything God deems necessary for you personally to enjoy and glorify him more.”

There are two primary implications to this definition:

  1. It requires wisdom, prayer, and humility to find out what your needs are; and
  2. Your needs can change based on your circumstances, your heart, and the heart’s of others.

At one time in your life you may need the respect of others. At other times you may need to have only the respect of God the Father. That brings us to the heading of this blog: 4 Surprising Ways to Get the Respect You Need

What We Have Now is Disrespect and Dishonor

Because of the Fall of Adam and Eve, we have lost the respect and honor that we were created for. God created us to rule over creation as his ambassadors. Creation was originally supposed to honor us and submit to our generous, just, and loving rule.

Now we live in fear of the created world around us. We fear predatory animals and invasive pests. We fear drought and famine. We fear storms and natural disasters.

We also live in fear of other people. Jealousy and hatred has replaced honor and love. Instead of a society where everyone submits to the proper authorities and all authorities are generous, just, and loving, we live in a world where people are dishonored and dishonorable.

We Will Have Honor and Respect

In our passage in 1 Corinthians 15, Paul says our current bodies are sown in dishonor, but that they will be raised in glory. This is the glory of kings. He is not just referring to the bright shining glory that blinded Paul on the road to Damascus, but also the glory of Jesus as King of Kings. We will share in that majestic, royal glory.

We will finally have the respect and honor that we were made for; the honor that drives so much of what we do (i.e. seeking human approval). Much of what drives the addiction to pornography is a quest for honor.

We want to be respected and desired. We want to be held in high-esteem. We want to be followed and clung to as kingly figures. We want to be good and well-loved and highly-praised kings.

The promise of heaven includes a promise for royalty. We are a royal priesthood. Our true ambassadorial role will not only be restored but renewed to new heights. Our honor and glory will be even greater than Adam and Eve’s in the garden.

We will respect each other and God will respect us. Not as someone he looks up to but as a proud Father respects sons and daughters that he raised well.

And our honor will be to the glory of God. We will see how each of us reflects difference aspects of God’s own kingly rule. The more his ambassadors are honored in the new earth the more he is honored. Our future honor is tied to his glory.

The 4 Ways to Get From Here to There

What does this promise mean for us now? How does our future honor and respect help us while we’re being dishonored and disrespected now? Here are the four ways to get from here to there:

1. Embrace the dishonor of being sinned against

The surprising truth that Christ revealed was that dishonor was not an obstacle to his future glory but the primary means for reaching it.

He became poor, weak, and insignificant so that he could be glorified as the Savior of Mankind. He endured the scoffing of the Pharisees. He endured the unjust trials. He endured the beatings, being spat upon, mocked, stripped naked. He endured betrayal by his closest friends.

These were the dishonorable seeds planted in his grave that sprouted to his current glorious reign above all authority and power and any name that can be named. They were not obstacles to getting the honor he deserved. They were the means.

If that is how it is for our Savior then so it is for those who follow him. The disrespectful things you endure are not obstacles but some of the very means for getting the respect and honor you need.

The way to the greatest honor is through undeserved dishonor.

2. Embrace the dishonor of confession

Likewise, confessing your sins is also not an obstacle to your honor but a means.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). How are we cleansed? By confession. What does righteousness mean for us? Honor and respect (among many other things).

3. Fantasize about your future honor and how it glorifies God

Meditation reduces stress and anger. But what do you meditate on? Do you try to empty your mind or fill it? What do you fill it with?

Paul says to set our minds on things above. That will help us put off the old self with its jealousy and put on the new self with its respect of others. One of the things above we ought to set our minds on is our future honor. We ought to dwell on it and ponder what it will be like and how it will bring glory to God.

Doing so will remind you that foregoing respect here is only temporary. It will remind you that you have the respect of a king waiting for you and you don’t need the respect of the world.

4. Be an example of giving respect to others like everyone will in heaven

View everyone around you as fellow kings and queens deserving respect. You will be rewarded with more honor in heaven if you made it a habit to give honor on earth.

I hope this is something you are able to apply today and will motivate you to flee sexual immorality. Stay tuned for the next series post on Paul’s comparison between our current weak body and our resurrected strong body.

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