Dying 2 Live...!

Dying 2 Live...!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Respect Series 5: "The Family Factor"

Over and over, people want to be esteemed in some sort of manner. They eventually want to gain high praise and elite respect. Some individuals desire to get that respect from their appearance. Others seek for it to come from their monetary status or possessions. While even others feel it is accomplished through their own efforts and abilities in an activity (maybe athletic)or the educational sphere (maybe intellectual invention or discovery). But there are those unique individuals who want it to be AUTOMATIC. They don't really want to have to do too much of anything for it. Actually, to do just nothing would fit extremely well into their plans. You know, to have the wonders of life handed to them on a silver platter. If you're having difficulty understanding what I'm getting at, try these names on for size. The Rockefellers, The Vanderbilts, The Hiltons, The Trumps, The Waltons, The Woodruffs, The Mellons, etc. When we hear names like these, money comes to mind. Not just lots and lots of money, but OLD MONEY. Money that's been around through generations upon generations, from great grandfather to present day child.

And many of the kids that's from this type of 'unearned wealth' feel entitled to respect. Not for their own sakes, but for their family's namesake. For example, Paris Hilton is adored or Kim Kardashian is beloved, not just for their beauty but, for their ultra-wealthy family connections. Really though, should we respect these individuals just for the family they belong to? Even if most of them are spoiled brats, arrogant snobs, or superficial jerks, should we still respect them highly, anyway? Unfortunately, many believe we still should. Many are convinced in their thinking that monetary power and influence trumps everything else.

Well, there are those who may not have come from families with this grand-level of cash-influence. But that doesn't mean they are not still stuck in this rationale of thinking when it comes to respect. Numerous individuals may simply belong to a prestigious pastoral family, family of doctors, family of lawyers, or just a well-known family in the community. These children can still carry on in the same manner of many of the ultra-wealthy, spoiled brats. Or, maybe it's not the children but it's their parents. Some parents could be pushing their children so hard to become famous or ridiculously wealthy that they pressure them to live up to the standards of the ultra-wealthy's spoiled brats, not so much in action, but in attitude. Where kids go around thinking they're the greastest thing walking and everyone else in beneath them. Better yet, those individuals should be serving and catering to their "super-fabolousness."

Regardless of the cause, children or parents, this is a completely flawed way to garner respect. What happens when all the money is eventually squandered or loss? What happens when the family name is no longer sufficient for respect and one is left to face the real world on its terms? Now what? Many times, people spend their entire lives building a name for themselves, even dedicating generations to it. And in an instant flash, one single family member runs their name through the mud, all over the very thing that got the family famous, money. One child feels that they should be receiving more money than the other child, and so on and so forth. Thus, the fight breaks out, and the lawyers are summoned. Therefore, it is easy to see, this is an unwise foundation for your family's significance or respect. How about your family being known for loving people who are in need? Or, they choose to be key in shaping the world for the greater good and, ultimately, GOD'S GLORY! If they were honest and had to admit it, even the children of the ultra-wealthy would respect those individuals much more than they do their own parents. And in many circles, much more than they their own selves.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Respect Series 4: "The Status Factor"

Most people desire distinguished titles---doctor so and so, vice president of blank, supervisor whoever, director of organization XYZ. Goodness, individuals will go through countless hours of schooling, train rigorously, and deprived themselves of a certain standard of living all in hopes of getting to a select position. Individuals will manipulate others, mistreat people, suck up to leadership, and even sleep around just to gain an upper level status. If that wasn't enough, this has also became the environment of many churches. Some church goers are in sole allegience to their clique. There are those who seek to look as pretty as the pastor's wife and only allow other very attractive people into their circle. Then, the ones closes to the pastor feel more important than the ones not quite as close. The wealthy and educated hang out together like they're in a country club setting, and the poor and depressed get together in their small groups in order to bad mouth the arrogant wealthy and educated. It's NOT hard to notice how ridiculous all of this is!

Some facets of Christian leadership will become highly offended if you don't call them bishop, pastor, reverend, prophet, or apostle so and so. Or, maybe it's their assistants that will carry more of the offence. But Jesus had no problem being referred to as the Son of Man---which denoted Him as an individual without any apparent title. Furthermore, in the Bible, Jesus spoke negatively about religious leaders always needing to be addressed by their titles.

"Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels. And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues. They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces, and to be called 'Rabbi'..." (Matthew 23:5-7) NLT

Many may say, "Hey, that's not me, I don't have a big time title." Okay! But that still doesn't mean you're not trying to gain much respect from your status. Maybe it's how you seek to dress, with fancy clothes and all---your shoes, your watch, etc. are pretty expensive. Or, it could be what your drive, when you pull up in your car, the distinguished label on the front of it speaks highly of you. Yet, it could even be walking into an event or restaurant with that extremely attractive man or woman on your arm. I got it...maybe it's your zip code status. You live in an outstanding school district, in a top tier city, where prices range from $350,000 and up. None of these things should be used to define your status because they can all EASILY CHANGE. Neither should one look to these things for respect. You're more than some over exaggerated title, expensive fashion, a fancy car, a part of an attractive couple, or belonging to a top tier zip code. You're an individual GREATLY LOVED by the Almighty God. Always seek to remember that and leave the Joneses to being the Joneses. And know that you're a special part of something, better yet someone, that's so much greater than any perceived status.