"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!" - Psalm 84:11-12 Respect. We all want it. Street gangsters and mafiosi fight over perceived disrespect. Businessmen and politicians hold lifelong grudges over slights and put-downs. Riots and race wars are fought over who doesn’t respect whom enough. We all strive to earn a place of honor and respect among our peers. We can’t live without it.
Trying to please others and craving their respect and honor really makes us their slaves. They can manipulate us by withholding their respect. We find ourselves doing things we know are wrong in order to win their favor. It really goes back to the First Commandment, "You shall have no other gods before Me.” Luther’s Catechism explains that commandment saying, “We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.” The Lord bestows favor and honor. If we try to live our lives to please Him, He will put us in favor and honor, even with those who hate us. You don’t have to take the road of trying to earn the respect of other people. Whether you are a former criminal, a businessman, a politician, or a person just trying to live in a community of your peers, you can entrust your reputation to God. Lord, my times are in Your hands. My life, my reputation, and the way that people see me, I put into Your hands. Do with me and with my life what You will; just help me to walk uprightly before You, in Jesus’ name. Amen. Pastor Dan Giles