Subject: FaithWriters Bible Devotional for Friend

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Today's Devotional
Demanding Respect, or Just Demanding? 
Toni Babcock

In the quest to be like Jesus, is demanding respect for ourselves a virtue to aspire to? In the Bible we read "…He that is least among you all, the same shall be great," (Luke 9:48b KJV).

Making demands of people to achieve our goals might alter someone else's behavior, but does it achieve God's goal of altering our behavior? If intolerance and a punitive spirit always comes to the fore, instead of graciousness and the ability to overlook a fault, what we may be achieving is not respect, but an exaggerated sense of entitlement. When our behavior drives people away because they fear the fallout of failing to meet our expectations, something is wrong. When we develop a pattern of making people feel small in order to puff ourselves up, something is way off kilter. We should be thankful God doesn't give us what we deserve!

On the other hand, God doesn't expect us to live the life of a non-assertive doormat. A more balanced approach is to realize if we live like Christ, we will acquire respect from other people instead of demanding it. We will no longer live like people anxious to achieve respect. We will already know who we are in Christ. Instead of making sure we always get the "respect we deserve" we will be driven to be like Jesus, with a servant heart and a gracious spirit, remembering how Jesus washed his disciples feet and told us to do likewise (John 13:12-17 KJV).

Lord, help us consider just how it is we present ourselves to others. May others see Jesus in all His grace and glory; not simply proud Christians demanding the respect we think we deserve.

Toni Babcock is the author of The Stone Writer. Contact

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