I'm thinking of the lyrics to the classic song by Aretha Franklin, R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Just a little respect. That’s all most of us want from each other. In general, none of us venture out into our day looking to be deliberately disrespectful to people. Yet, whether it is our purposed intention or not, disrespect happens daily. It’s my desire to respect all people equally. To make an honest attempt at this in my life, I’ve found there’s one particular area that I have to keep a close eye on. This is a place that if I am not careful, I can find myself becoming disrespectful…

Taking up someone else’s offense. My heart is full with compassion for others. Most of the time this is a good thing, however when I’ve witnessed a severely painful offense toward someone, I tend to lack any compassion for the offender. I find it hard at times to see beyond the pain their actions have caused. I confess, there have been times that I’ve taken up someone else’s offense to the point of being down right disrespectful to their offender.

Should we only extend respect to others when we feel their actions deserve our respect? Does their poor behavior justify my disrespect? I don’t think so. When I look at the heart of this type of disrespect, I find it’s really nothing more than judgement and harsh criticism.

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.” – James 3:9

“Why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat your brother or sister with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.” – Romans 14:10

Keeping these scriptures in mind, I hope to be more careful the next time I feel like my disrespect is justified because I have taken up someone else’s offense. I pray God teaches me with His unconditional love to treat all people with the respect they deserve, just simply because they are “made in God’s likeness”.

Are there certain times or situations that make it more difficult for you to be respectful to others?

About the Author: I am a very blessed wife and mom! I'm also a pastor and mentor for women at the LA Dream Center, teaching and encouraging women to discover their complete God-given potential and enjoy life! You can find me on the web at http://danisejurado.com