November 16, 2003

The Climate of Healthy Relationships
Part 2: Respect Introduction: Everyone wants to be respected…and should be! Leviticus 19:3 __________________ Leviticus 19:32 __________________ Romans 13:7 ___________________ 1 Peter 3:15 ____________________ 1 Peter 3:7 _____________________ 1. Show respect to everyone! Why? A. Because ____________________________________________ everyone. Genesis 1:27, Psalm 8, Ephesians 2:10 B. Because _____________________________________________ everyone. John 15:13 C. Because everyone _____________________________________________. 1 Thessalonians 5:12 ______________ Ephesians 5:33 __________________ 1 Peter 2:17 _____________________

D. Because ____________________________________________________. Luke 6:37-38, Galatians 6:7 2. How to show respect. A. By _________________________________________________________. Ephesians 4:29, 5:25-27, John 15:3, Proverbs 10:11, 21, 11:9, 12:18, 18:21 B. By _________________________________________________________.

C. By _________________________________________________________.

For Life Group Discussion: Who do you struggle to respect? What will you do differently this week with them?

November 16, 2003

The Climate of Healthy Relationships
Part 1: Respect Opening: Respect, by Aretha Franklin R-E-S-P-E-C-T! That’s what we’re talking about today! How many of you want to be respected? Everyone wants to be respected…and should be! This is part two of our series, “The Climate of Healthy Relationships.” Every living thing needs the right climate to grow and thrive, and that’s true of our relationships. We’re looking at five essential elements that create an environment in which relationships thrive. Today, we’re going to talk about how to make respect part of the climate of your relationships—how to show respect to others. Baby dedications. Offering and announcements: Speaking of respect, today we want to honor Paul Brown! We are celebrating Paul’s 10th anniversary on our staff. Paul leads our adult ministry team (I believe there are five staff people who are your direct reports—Michael, Kathy, Randy, Debby and Desiree). Paul’s team carries the flag for Life Groups—that’s their big deal. And they are responsible for men’s and women’s groups, marriage and family ministry, adult education opportunities, pastoral care ministries, recovery groups, and we just added community outreach to their basket (more about that later). Besides all that, Paul is one of our teaching pastors—many of you have heard him speak here. And he is a member of our Leadership Team, the group that meets with me regularly to help strategize the progress of our church. In the past ten years, Paul’s job description has changed as the church has grown. He’s proven to be a flexible leader, able to step in and do what’s needed. Often in a pinch, I’ll ask Paul to handle something on short notice, or represent me, and he always does it well. Let me tell you another thing I appreciate about Paul: he is very smart. Most of you won’t know this, but in the last couple years, Paul earned a master’s degree in organizational leadership. Paul does some work on the side as a consultant to pastors of others churches. Paul is a very creative and insightful thinker who adds a lot to our team—he’s part of my brain trust.

So we want to say thanks to Paul for 10 years of service to our church. We have about six weeks left in this calendar year, and we are significantly behind budget. I think we missed budget last month by almost $40,000, and we’re down about $180,000 for the calendar year. We have six weeks to make that up. If this is your church, we need you to give regularly. The Bible teaches about tithes and offerings. The tithe is the first 10% of your income and the Bible says it belongs to God. If you don’t give it back to Him, you are robbing God. An offering is whatever you want to give above and beyond that first 10%. In the Bible God dares us to trust Him. He says, “Test me in this—give the tithe and offering—and see if I won’t pour out more blessing than you can hold.” I believe God expects every Christian to give a tithe and offering, and promises to bless us when we obey. I also want you to know that we as a church give away almost 20% of everything that comes in our offerings. And we do that every month, whether we are ahead of budget or behind budget, because we believe that we’re supposed to be generous. So, let’s step it up folks. We need you to give faithfully. If you are not giving, don’t look around and think, “They’re doing alright without my offering.” You need to give; we need you to give faithfully. And beyond our budget, to build this new building, we need you to give sacrificially, above and beyond to reach more people. Sketch: Late Night Words Introduction: How many of you have lived through an encounter like that? Jonathan wanted his privacy to be respected; mom and dad wanted their wishes to be respected. Everyone wants to be respected! When we feel disrespected, de-valued, dishonored, relationships crumble. On the other hand, when there is mutual respect, a relationship will be healthy. When we talk about respect, some of you might think of Rodney Dangerfield, whose famous line is..."I get no respect." ILL: "I get no respect from my dog. The other day, the dog went to the door and started to bark. I went over and opened it. The dog didn't want to go out; he wanted me to leave." That's no respect! Everyone wants to be respected. Everyone wants to feel valued and esteemed. Everyone wants to be considered important, be highly regarded. It is a universal desire. And everyone hurts inside when they are treated disrespectfully. In fact, we want to distance ourselves from people who treat us disrespectfully. ILL: I have a friend, who a few years ago, seemed to be on a mission to cut me down. Every time we were together, he found things to make fun of,

Page 3 things he could ridicule and laugh at. I left each encounter feeling disrespected. Finally one day I told Laina, “That’s it. I’ve had enough. I’m going to stay away from that guy. I won’t be mean or discourteous, but I’m just going to avoid him.” And I did. You know, if every time I saw you, you slapped me in the face, I would ask you to stop. If you didn’t, I’d stay away from you! Disrespect is a slap in the face. It’s no fun. And when it happens regularly, relationships die. We disengage. We pull back for safety sake. Everyone wants to be respected. What does the Bible say about respect? The Bible commands us to respect a broad range of people. Leviticus 19:3 "'Each of you must respect his mother and father. Respect your parents. Respect starts at home. There are no perfect parents; God knew that when He wrote this. But there are no perfect children either. In fact, there are no perfect people; we’ll have to respect each other in spite of our imperfections—and we’re going to talk about how to do that. God expects us to respect our imperfect parents anyway. How many of you live with your parents? If you can apply what I’m talking about today to your relationship with your parents, it’s going to make your life so much better. Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. _2_ “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— _3_ “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Would you like your life to go well and be long? Honor your parents! Leviticus 19:32 Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD. Respect the elderly. How many of you were taught when you were young, “Respect your elders”? ILL: Sheryl Tedder is a children's pastor in Omaha, Nebraska. One of her fourth-grade Sunday school teachers told her about teaching a lesson on the Ten Commandments. He had asked the kids, "What is the hardest Commandment for you to keep?" to which most of them responded, "You shall not commit adultery." He couldn't understand why fourth graders would find that command a problem until a mother quizzed her son on what he thought committing adultery meant. Without blinking, the boy replied, "You shall not sass back to adults." Makes sense to a fourth grader! Don’t commit adultery: respect your elders! Romans 13:7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Respect civic leaders. 1 Thessalonians 5:12 Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Respect spiritual leaders.

Page 4 1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. Respect pre-Christians. When you share your faith, do it respectfully. Ephesians 5:33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Wives, respect your husbands. 1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect... Husbands, respect your wives. 1 Peter 2:17 Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king. Respect everyone. So let’s start here. We should show respect to everyone. 1. Show respect to everyone. Why? A. Because God made everyone. The Bible says that God created us, that every human being was made in the image of God. Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. You bear the image of God, and that alone makes you worthy of respect. Psalm 8 says that people are the crown of God’s creation. Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. You are His workmanship, a masterpiece, His work of art. God made you with a plan and purpose in mind. Each person is a dream of God. He created each person for a purpose. Because each person is a unique creation of God, each person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. ILL: When you put a lot of time and effort into creating something, don’t you want it to be treated with respect? If you work hard to prepare a beautiful meal, how do you feel if people dis it? If you work hard on a presentation at work, how do you feel if people dis it? If you work hard on a school assignment, how do you feel if people dis it? We feel disrespected when people disrespect our work. Don’t disrespect God by disrespecting His creation. We should show respect to everyone because God created them. Isaiah 45:9 “Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker…Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘He has no hands’?

Page 5 When you respect a person whom God has made, you honor his Maker. When you disrespect a person God has made, you disrespect God. B. Because Jesus died for everyone. Another reason you should respect everyone is because Jesus died for them. The Cross of Christ is the ultimate value statement on each human being. How much is that person worth? So much that God would give His only Son to die for them! Does God respect you? Does God value you? Yes! He values you enormously. If you ever wonder if you are worth much to God, you need look no farther than the Cross on which Jesus died. The Cross is God's value statement about you. God loves you so much it hurt! You matter so much that He died for you. John 15:13 "Greater love has no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends. And you are my friends." You matter to God; that is the message that brought Jesus to earth. And if someone matters that much to God, they should matter to me. If that person is valued by God, they should be respected by me. ILL: I’m a very tolerant guy, but if you are disrespectful to my wife, I’ll be in your face. I don’t tolerate that very well. Why? Because she means everything to me. She’s the most important person in the world to me. I would die for her. So don’t treat her disrespectfully! How many of you husbands feel that way about your wives? So how do you think God feels when you are disrespectful towards someone for whom Christ died? We should respect everyone because Jesus died for them. C. Because everyone deserves it. How many of you would say that respect is earned? I agree. We may show people respect because they are created by God and valued by God as shown by Jesus’ death on the Cross. But that’s not a respect they earned. That’s a respect due them because of what God did. In that sense, it’s really a respect that is due God. We respect God by respecting what He creates and values. But there is another kind of respect that is earned. And I want to suggest that everyone earns some. Now maybe you can think of an exception—Adolph Hitler or Gary Ridgeway or some other horrible person—who doesn’t deserve any respect. But most of us aren’t dealing with monsters like that—just ordinary people. And I think almost every person that I deal with deserves respect—that there are good things about that person that are worth respecting. All of us have difficult people in our lives—people who are hard to love, hard to respect—EGR’s—Extra Grace Required. But my experience has been that even those people have admirable qualities or behaviors that make them worthy of respect. I may have to look harder,

Page 6 but they are there! If you are struggling to respect someone, try this. Make a list of that person’s admirable qualities or traits or actions. Identify positive behaviors that you respect. Unless that person is Attila the Hun or Madame LeFarge, there are probably some positive behaviors in person that you admire. Make a list. Take some time to write down everything that person does that you enjoy or appreciate or admire. You may be surprised at how many there are when you begin to add them all up! And then begin to express the admiration and respect that you feel about those things. We'll talk about how to do that in just a moment. Focus on the positive. Too often, we focus on the other person’s deficiencies and failures; we need to focus on the positive and respect them for those things. Everyone deserves to be respected; everyone has some admirable quality or behavior worthy of respect. ILL: Gordon MacDonald tells this story. A homeless man in New York City rebuked me one day. I found him going through a trashcan on the side of our Manhattan church building. Frankly, I was irritated, and I said, "Hey, when you're through with the can, put it all back, and make sure the lid is on." I started to walk away. "Just a minute," he called out. I turned to face him. He said, "I'll be glad to do what you asked if you ask me respectfully." Respectfully! He had me. This man knew disrespect when he heard it. I sucked in my breath and said, "You're absolutely right, and I'm so sorry. Sir, when you're finished, it would mean a lot to me if you would please make sure the area is tidy." "I'd be glad to," he responded. We shook hands. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect. D. Because you get back what you give. This is the law of reciprocity, and it’s found many places in the Bible. Luke 6:37-38 Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. This may sound selfish, but one reason why we ought to be respectful to everyone is that it comes back to you. If you are disrespectful, you’ll be disrespected. If you are respectful of others, they’ll be respectful of you. This principle of reciprocity means that if you want to create a climate of

Page 7 respect, you do it by showing respect to others. What you give will come back to you. So let’s talk about how to show respect. 2. How to show respect. Here are three very important ways to express respect. A. By words. The most common form of disrespect is the way we talk to each other. Many people call each other degrading names, and use ugly tones of voice that make the other person feel belittled and demeaned. Verbal put-downs are the standard conversational diet in many struggling relationships. One of the most common complaints I hear in marriages is that spouses don't talk to each other respectfully. It might have been funny when Archie and Edith did it on "All in the Family", but I'll bet it's not so funny when it happens at your house! Ephesians 4:29 "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." We are to say things that build others up, meet their needs and benefit them. Unwholesome talk or literally rotten talk tears others down. And it’s not just the words themselves, but the tone of voice that can be rotten and disrespectful. Proverbs 18:21 "The tongue has the power of life and death..." With your tongue you can slice someone to ribbons; you can destroy someone's self-esteem; you can cause their spirit to wither and die. Or with your tongue you can heal the hurting, refresh the weary, build up and encourage the disheartened, and make someone's self-esteem soar. Here are a few other proverbs about the life-giving power of your words. Proverbs 10:11 "The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life..." Proverbs 10:21 "The lips of the righteous nourish many..." Proverbs 11:9 "With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor..." Proverbs 12:18 "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." The tongue has the power of life and death. Watch what you say and how you say it. I think that is why the apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:25-27 says "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless." Christ cleanses us by washing us with His word. Husbands are to love their wives in the same way. Husbands, your words ought to cleanse and refresh and heal your wife, not disrespect, degrade or humiliate her. Husbands, ask yourself, “Is this what Jesus would say? Is this how Jesus would say it? Am I loving my wife with my words like Jesus would?” John 15:3 Jesus said, "You are already clean by the word I have spoken to you." Jesus’ words cleanse us. Jesus’ words make us holy, make us special. In the

Page 8 same way, we ought to speak words like Jesus did that heal and help people. One of the ways we show respect is by praise. When you praise someone, you express how much you value, admire or esteem them. It’s very powerful. Praise someone and watch them shine! Praise someone and watch them get even better! ILL: I remember coming home from work one night and my daughter Amy, then 6, met me at the door saying, "Dad, I can read the Bible!" Guess what I did? I had a fit! I had a cow! I went crazy! "You can read the Bible? That's fabulous! Let me hear!" You should have seen her face glow! She promised me that at bedtime, she would read the Bible to me. Sure enough, when I tucked her in, she opened her Bible to 1 John, and started at the top of the page. She read from word to word with no heed for punctuation or meaning. Did I correct her? No way! I had another fit! "Amy, that's incredible! You are a fabulous reader! I love it when you read the Bible!" Guess what happened? While I was jogging first thing in the morning, Amy would read her Bible with Laina. Then Sally joined her, and Andy! Guess what I would do when I got home? I had another fit! "I'm so proud of you kids, getting up in the morning and reading your Bibles! You are fabulous!" Their faces would shine with pride. What’s rewarded gets done. Reward people with praise, with recognition, with respect. We nag people and disrespect them for what we don’t like, when we ought to be rewarding them and respecting them for what we like. I'm convinced that you can't get too much praise, so you can't give too much praise. Make a habit of catching people at succeeding and praise the dickens out of them! Seize every opportunity to celebrate other people's successes and efforts. Be liberal with praise! The first way you express respect is by words, both the content and the tone of your words. B. By listening. The second way you express respect is by listening. When you listen to someone, you are expressing respect. You are saying, "You matter to me. Your opinions and ideas matter to me." ILL: I was in Los Angeles this week meeting with a group of pastors who all plant churches out of their church—we are called parent church pastors. Our denomination invited us to come and give our ideas about how we can do it better. One of the questions was, “How can we reward parent church pastors?” You know what they said? “By doing this—by listening to us. By respecting our ideas and input.” When someone listens to you, you feel respected. On the other hand, what do you feel like when you talk to someone and they obviously are not paying attention? Disrespected. Devalued. Listening is an art. Here are a few pointers.

Page 9 First, listen attentively. Look directly at the person to whom you are listening. Put down your book or paper or magazine, and look straight into their eyes. Turn off the TV or computer and fix your gaze on your beloved. It is demeaning to talk to the backside of a newspaper, or compete with a TV show for someone’s attention. Give them your undivided attention. I know that many of you men are brilliant and can do several things at once. You multitask: you can watch TV, listen to the radio, read the paper, tune up the car and talk to your wife all at once. You know that and I know that, but she doesn't know that, and she feels like you are not listening when you are not looking at her. Second, listen actively. Feed back. Say back to them what you hear the other person saying. That lets them know not only that you are listening, but that you truly want to understand what they are saying. Third, listen sympathetically. Try to understand the feelings behind the words. Learn to hear the emotions that might be prompting the words. Ask them how they feel about it if you are unsure. Respect is expressed by the words we say, and by listening. C. By actions. Third, respect is expressed by actions. There are many small deeds of respect. Remembering special dates is a sign of respect. When someone remembers a birthday or anniversary, it says, "You are important to me." When a man can remember Mickey Mantle's batting average in the '57 World Series, or who played third base for the Cubs in '68, but can't remember his wife's birthday, he has serious case of misplaced priorities! Never correct someone in front of others, especially over insignificant details. ILL: I remember being with a couple who couldn't get through a story because they each kept disrespectfully interrupting the other to correct insignificant details. "It was Monday...no it was Sunday." "She said...no he said." "She had overpaid by $22...no it was $32." Who cares! Correcting someone in public is disrespectful, and even if you win the argument, you lose respect in the eyes of everyone who saw what you did. Opening the door for a lady is small act of chivalry that communicates respect. I know that some women are liberated and say it is no big deal, but I've never met a woman who resisted having a door opened for her. Everyone likes to be treated as though they were respected. ILL: One man all his life had dismissed common courtesies as nonsense. He never opened a car door for his wife and when she asked him to, he said, "What's wrong; are your arms broken?" Late in life, his wife died, and he grieved her fiercely, for he had truly loved her. As they were putting her casket into the hearse for the trip to the funeral, the mortician, who knew him

Page 10 quite well, called him by name and said, "Open the door for her would you?" The man reached for the door handle and then, for just one second, froze. He realized he had never opened a car door for her in life; now in her death it would be the first, last and only time. Regret crashed in upon him. Don't live with regret. Treat other people with respect, in the words you say, the way you listen, and by the actions you do. Video and special offering for turkey drive.

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