“[Live] so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders”
Today’s daily mediation was focused on 1 Thessalonians 4:12. When I read this I began wondering what causes me to respect others? Why do I interact with some people and esteem them above others, and what in or about others keeps me from honoring them or holding them in great regard? The devotional I read (Today’s Word with Joel & Victoria Osteen) aptly answered my question:
“Notice this verse doesn’t say, “Go out of your way to do something major so that everyone will respect you.” … No, it says that your daily life should win the respect of others. That simply means to always take the high road and live a life of excellence. It means doing the right thing even when no one is looking. It means finding common ground in order to be a peacemaker.”
Interesting. As a highly competitive person it’s not always easy for me to take the high road…I looove being right and telling people about it. Yet when I think about it, I don’t really respect people who do the same–at all. In fact, I pretty much detest people who insist on being right all the time and don’t fess up when they’re wrong. Holy smokes, I’d much rather live a life that gains respect from others through the simplicity of how I live and the choices I make daily.
Additionally someone just taking the high road doesn’t really win my respect. It’s a way of life; the conglomerate of being kind to others and trying to find and make peace. Notably this isn’t a passage about building yourself up it’s about becoming a better person as a whole, and one that earns admiration from others through honorable living. Which became really clear as I read verses 10-12.
When I expanded the scripture to read verses 10, 11 & 12 and at first thought it was a little…demeaning?…until I began typing this. Minding your own business, doing your own job isn’t to belittle people, it’s saying don’t meddle, or be all up in someone else’s business; pay attention to your own responsibilities. Not that your co-worker comes in late or isn’t as good at some tasks as you. It’s shifting the focus to yourself (or myself). ME: my job, my responsibilities, my choices and how each of these is an opportunity for me to ‘life a life of excellence’ which is what really truly wins the respect of others, right?
Hrmmm. Just the things I’m mulling over today…
In other news: Izzy’s really cute