GOOD FEELINGS, BAD FEELINGS.
Some day you may find yourself in one of the following situations. Some of these situations would probably cause you to feel good. Others would more likely make you feel bad. Think about whether the following reactions would have a good or a bad result for you:
Your parents fill your Christmas stocking with straw as a little joke. You decide to fling the straw in their faces, screaming, "I want my presents now!"
Your teacher gives you a "zero" on a homework assignment because you forgot to put your name on it. You call her "fat and ugly."
An elderly woman with a cane is standing in front of a revolving door, hesitant to go in. You stop and help her through the door.
A policeman stops you for jaywalking and threatens to give you a ticket. You answer, "Whatcha gonna do, throw me in jail for jaywalking, you big turkey?"
The head lifeguard at the city pool calls you over to his chair and tells you that you're not allowed to wear cutoff shorts to swim. You answer, "OK. I'll go home and change right away."
As you might guess, the point of this exercise is that treating other people respectfully will more often result in good results and good feelings. Treating other people rudely and disrespectfully will often bring some pretty bad consequences like getting thrown in jail for jaywalking just because you smarted off to a policeman!
The Bible says that if you refuse to give people (especially people in authority) the proper respect, you shouldn't be surprised if you receive condemnation and other bad results. But if you "do what is good" and treat people politely and respectfully, you'll receive praise and other good things. And whatever you do, don't dare a policeman to throw you in jail!
REFLECT: How would you complete this sentence: Respect protects from... and provides for...?
ACT: Conduct an experiment for the next two days: Make a special effort to treat everyone you meet or talk to politely and respectfully. Keep track of any good or bad results you experience (perhaps by writing them down in a journal or notebook).
PRAY: "Thank you, God, for the good things that happen when I show respect to people. Thanks for helping me feel good when I..."