Wednesday, October 19, 2011
The Respect Series 8: "The Civil/Patriot Factor"
For the common individual, respect is often given to those we are most proud of. This can range from our great grandparents all the way down to our children. But this type of respect is usually fleeting and fickled. The moment they tick you off, or you find out about something shamefully detrimental in their past, all of that admiration suddenly goes out the window. On the contrary, there are certain individuals we give a much longer lasting since of dignity to. Interestingly, their not that much different from the aforementioned individuals, like great grandparents and children. Many of these individuals have seemingly earned respect on an ongoing basis, no matter what! They will never lose it all, regardless of what they do. Also, this is usually based on one event or concept. But the commitment from that event or concept goes on for nearly a lifetime.
See, that's exactly it --- the COMMITMENT!
This is why we can continually give honor to those who fought in the 'Civil Rights Movement.' Their life before or even after that movement could be anything other than honorable and civic. But we don't even begin to attempt to discredit them (or their legacy) for their mishaps and failures. And neither should we!
Likewise, similar to notable civic leaders, patriots are given a pass for their unjust involvment in countless wars and the carrying out of unethical or unpopular policy. Except for the unjust disdain for the Veitnam War which was not highly appropriate, those men shouldn't have taken the brunt of the blame. Also, many argue that disdain was not so much targeted toward the Vets but rather the American government, once everything was said and done. Anyway, the soldiers or individuals laying their lives down for our nation are STILL greatly respected.
So what's the point I'm getting at? Well, the point is this: individuals involved in ministry or the work of the Gospel rarely ever get a justifiable pass, even when needed. They are respected within the perimeters of the church only, and that varies from local church to local church. Rarely are they ever respected out of it, once they fall. And condemningly, the world kicks them hard while they're down on a continual basis. Unfortunately, nowadays, so does the church! Now I'm not only talking about leaders, pastors or bishops. I'm referring to you and I as well. Sadly, when Christians fail, and we all do daily in some sort of way, we are the bud of every joke. We are disrepected on all accounts. You know the popular word we tend to be known by --- HYPOCRITS!
My prayer is that this unbelieving world would start to, at least, see Christians for who they are as individuals. That's right, we are still INDIVIDUALS. We are individuals who are called to make a difference in this world for God's glory, not necessarily to be perfect individuals who are super-faultless. Yes, Christians ought to seek to do and be better. But we also are to let others know we're strongly seeking to do that and not individuals who always get it right all the time, or the first time around for that matter. We should still be given, the same bit of respect civil leaders and patriots are given for our continued sacrifice, just like theirs. And let's be about lifting up others while their down, instead of kicking them hard, permanently wounding our brothers and sisters in Christ.