I suppose one of the hardest lessons to learn in Christianity is learning to give honor and respect to someone in regards to their position.
Oftentimes, even in our church life, we will be intertwined with people in authority whom we don’t agree with, who don’t do things the way we want them to, perhaps we think of them as less educated or even as one who is not being sensitive to our needs or wants.
Never-the-less, God’s Word tells us to give respect and honor to them as being the ones in authority over us in that setting and/or for that season. He also promises us that as we do this, at the appointed time, He will raise us up to be honored and respected in the same way that we have given such grace.
This makes me think of David. While David was anointed to be King as a youth, he was not appointed to be King until many, many years later. In fact, from David’s perspective, he probably (at times) wondered if he’d even live long enough to see that prophecy come to pass.
You see, Saul was the King at the time of David’s call from God to leadership and in Saul’s jealousy of David – as well as his unruly fits of rage – Saul made David’s life miserable. On numerous occasions, Saul even tried to kill David.
Yet, David continued to honor and respect King Saul. In fact, when given a clear opportunity of which David could’ve easily killed King Saul, David took the high road by not taking advantage of a moment that most would consider to be God’s open window of divine opportunity.
Even in his youth and early manhood, David understood God’s order. David had an innate sense of godly character that went far beyond the popular ideas of what was considered to be right or wrong.
David rose to the top in every situation that should have caused him to give up, retaliate or protest. Of course, today we know David as a man after God’s own heart; as a deliverer; as a hero of the faith. But, anyone who has ever lived a life compared to the struggles that David encountered on his way to the top understands that it’s not at all easy to give honor and respect to those in positions of leadership of which we disagree.
On another note, those who are in positions of leadership should always be mindful of their decisions – whether good or bad, weak or strong, emotional or factual. It’s certainly not easy to hold a position of leadership as every little decision carries with it consequences of success, struggles and sometimes failure.
Oftentimes, the decisions of leaders can be misunderstood simply because the onlooker does not fully understand the vision, has not invested the energy, time and resources to see the vision come to pass, is not required to undergo the pressures of pulling it all together or maybe just because they view their own ideas as being more brilliant than the ideas of the one in the leadership position.
While being a leader may seem glamorous, important or even powerful, the fact of the matter is that being a leader can be difficult. Leadership always carries with it great responsibility, lots of thoughtful evaluation and oftentimes grueling decision making. I suppose that is the primary reason the Lord admonishes His people to be sure to give honor and respect to those in authority over us. He knows that if He didn’t set this high standard, there would be so much chaos and confusion that eventually no one would ever want to hold a leadership position.
So, what do we do?
All of us are under the authority of someone or something at all times. And, most importantly, all of us are under the authority of God.
Knowing this, we should all strive to hit the mark, the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, by doing our part to be respectful to whomever is mentoring, leading, pastoring or governing us during the “NOW” season of our life.
And, sometimes showing respect is simply in our tone, our grace, our attitude or our patience.
DEBORAH G ROSS
Saving Souls. Transforming Lives. Healing Hearts, Minds and Marriages with The Word – The contagious faith and anointed Bible teachings of Deborah Ross have a worldwide impact. Her passion is speaking for women’s ministry, marriage ministry, prison ministry, addiction recovery ministry, conferences, retreats, television and radio. Choose Life with Deborah Ross television and radio broadcasts are “Empowering YOU to LIVE in the BLESSING.” Deborah and her husband, Jay, have been featured on The 700 Club in a story that highlighted her book, Healing a Broken Marriage. Their journey serves as a powerful teaching testimonial of a marriage that was upside down for eighteen years before God turned things right side up. Deborah’s newest book is called Woman2Woman: the Naomi & Ruth Experience. It is an in-depth Bible study that transforms the hearts and lives of women with short lessons that can be shared through a mentoring relationship or studied individually.
To find out more about Deborah Ross visit www.DeborahRossMinistries.org