The Brotherhood of the Second Cross was established on Father’s Day 2005 where 160 men stood before their wives and children to pledge themselves to purity, self-sacrifice, loyalty, and excellence. Today, hundreds more have joined the commitment.
Whom do you respect? As I watch the political landscape unfold in each day’s newspaper, I wonder who we respect anymore. The president sure doesn’t get much. Seems it doesn’t matter who he is, if he’s from the other side of the political aisle, people feel comfortable lampooning every move he makes.
Other leaders are just as easily criticized. We just don’t know what respect looks like anymore. Not long ago I heard an old-timer griping about how today’s “kids” don’t know what it means to respect their elders. That afternoon I saw the same old-timer had posted some pretty disrespectful statements about his congressman on his Facebook page. Guess it’s hereditary.
Respect is akin to honor. It demands that we regard those with greater responsibility to be worthy of trust and understanding of their larger assignment. I may not agree with every move a leader makes, but I don’t drive behind his windshield either. I don’t know what he knows or face what he faces, so my “wisdom” probably isn’t sufficient for the truth of his challenges. Therefore, I should respect him and trust that he’s giving his best to the work before him.
Or perhaps we think our leaders set out each day to irritate us and to make foolish choices. Perhaps they rise each day thinking, “How can I mess up the world today?” Seriously? I’m pretty sure they are as desperate to do a good job as we are in our work. They’re probably balancing more sides than just ours and they certainly have more people to please than just us. Doesn’t it make sense to at least cut them a little slack, if not offer a bit of respect? I think it does.
God set up this world with a few core principles, and one of them is “you get what you give.” Okay, you can use the sowing-reaping terminology if you want, but the truth is still the same. You may question whether giving respect will necessarily cause you to be respected, but I can guarantee you that showing disrespect will land the same in your lap.
So next time you’re tempted to trash a leader in either personal or electronic conversation, remember that God would have you do better than that.