SELF-RESPECT HELPS US TO RESPECT OTHERS.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Ephesians 2:10-22.
Verse of the Day: “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-and how well I know it” (Psalm 139:14).
Adam had been having a rough day. He had broken one of his favorite toys. He had struggled for a long time to put together a simple puzzle that he had completed easily several times before. He had even knocked his baby brother’s milk over at the lunch table. Finally, angered by the kind of day he was having, he had answered his mother disrespectfully and loudly when she asked him to put some of his toys away.
After Mom sat him in a chair by himself for a while, she called him over and patted the couch cushion next to her. She had a piece of paper in her hand.
“Adam,” Mom said, “I want to show you a list of names I heard a person call someone.” She read the names off one by one: “‘Stupid.’ ‘Dummy.’ ‘Clumsy.’ ‘Bad.’”
She balanced the paper on Adam’s knees. “What do you think about those names?”
“They’re not very nice,” Adam said.
“What do you think a person should do if someone calls him names like that?” Adam shrugged. “Tell him to stop, I guess.”
“What if I told you the person who used all those names was you?” Mom said.
Adam’s eyes widened. “I didn’t-” he started. Then a look of realization crossed his face. He remembered using those names that day. He looked at his mom. “I didn’t call anybody those names. I was talking to myself.”
“Would it be OK for somebody else to call you those names?” Mom asked.
“No,” Adam answered.
“Because they’re not nice. They’re mean.”
“That’s right,” Mom said. “They’re not respectful. No one should call you these names. You shouldn’t either. I want you to respect yourself. You know why?” Adam shook his head.
“Because you’re my son,” she said, “but also because you’re God’s masterpiece! God made you in his image when he made you a part of our family. And he remade you in his Son’s image when he made you a part of God’s family!”
Adam studied his mom’s smiling face without speaking.
“And when you respect yourself, Adam, it will be easier for you to respect others. But if you call yourself ‘stupid,’ it’ll be easier for you to call others names, too.”
“I’m sorry,” he said. He hugged his mom. “I’ll treat myself nicer from now on.”
“Good,” Mom said. “I’d like that.”
TO DISCUSS: How do you show that you respect yourself? Why do you think respecting yourself helps you to respect others?
TO PRAY: “Lord, when it comes to respecting others, help us not to leave ourselves out. We can’t respect others if we don’t respect ourselves.”