Seek and ye shall find (Mt.7:7).#3. “Seeking Respect.”

Seek and ye shall find (Mt.7:7).#3. “Seeking Respect.”

“You don’t know what they are like.”
“You only see the side of them that they want you to see.”
“Wait till you see what I have had to put up with.”

If you haven’t yet heard such statements come forth from very frustrated people, I would be surprised.

The saddest thing about these statements is that they are all too often prophetic. When the day comes that the person being criticised proves their critic right, the above words ring loud in your ears.

Annoying habits around the house are easily excused amidst redeeming qualities, but add to them integrity-questioning-behaviour and things will turn toxic.

Sad is the church that has a respected leader who sports a Sunday face. Especially one that he has accepted as acceptable; one that he even treats as real. The potential damage should not be underestimated, this man can fool a lot of people for a long time. We must pray that the Holy Spirit convicts such a heart, for his soul’s sake and the well-being of the church.

Of course, we would be horrified to learn that we were viewed in a similar light. Such criticism would bite hard. But if being told that our actions do not match our words causes us to react adversely, we might want to take heed.

Even if respect is initially given, it will eventually have to be earned to be maintained. Given that two-facedness is something we only accuse others of it is highly unlikely to appear in any of our attempts at self-examination. Outside help is needed, even if it is not wanted.

So, to the point:
Christians who seek to be respected, and that is all of us, must be always willing to accept that our critics may be right. Jesus rejected criticism because he was perfect. But because we are not perfect, we must listen and learn so that we…

Don’t prove your critics right!

John Staiger


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