With All Respect
Jesus himself gave the best definition of respect in the Golden Rule. Respect is treating others the way you would want to be treated, speaking to others the way you would want to be spoken to, seeing others the way you would want others to see you, and then acting towards them accordingly.
That definition is on display in an incident that took place thousands of years ago between Saul, a king and David, the one who would be the next king. It is a great object lesson of what respect looks like especially in circumstances when disrespect might be both expected and defended.
David had pulled off the greatest upset of all history when he defeated a giant named Goliath, but it brought him more headaches than honor. This would-be king had every reason not just to disrespect Saul but to destroy him and bring his kingdom to an end. But David declined, and his story serves as one of history’s great portraits of character.
David lived in a kingdom. He was under kingdom authority. Saul, as the king, was the embodiment of that principle of authority. David respected the principle of authority. Saul was still the king. David was still under his authority. What set David apart from his men was he understood that what is right is not what we think is right or what others feel is right, but what God says is right.
David knew that one day he would be king and he would be in that position. If David wanted to get the respect the position deserved, then he had to give the respect the position deserved. David showed great self-respect by respecting Saul.
When David looked at Saul, he didn’t primarily see the king on the throne, he saw the God who put him there. When David bowed down before Saul, he wasn’t bowing down to the person on the throne; he was bowing down to the power behind the throne.
Just because Saul was out of God’s will in the way he treated David did not mean that David would get out of God’s will by the way he treated Saul. God had anointed and appointed Saul. David not only respected the principle of authority and the position of authority, but above all he respected the power behind all authority, which is God.
Respect has to begin with us. We cannot control how others treat us, but we can control how we treat others.
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We adapted this plan from Character Still Counts: It Is Time to Restore Our Lasting Values. To discover more building blocks of a strong character, visit: https://amzn.to/2F0A3ey