Who deserves our respect? Wealthy people, powerful people, beautiful people? Yep! They sure do! Wealthy, powerful, beautiful people certainly deserve our respect. What about people who are sick, struggling and stuck in hard circumstances? Yes! Absolutely! What about people who look differently, talk differently or think differently than we do? You bet! We don’t have to look past the first chapter of the Bible to see what God has to say about respecting others. In Genesis 1 the Bible says that God “created man in his own image.” We can respect every person in every circumstance because every person was created in the image of God.
MEMORY VERSE: “Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God, and respect the King.” 1 Peter 2:17
In Mark 5:21-43 Jesus encountered two very different people. Jairus was a well-respected and wealthy ruler who had a family and servants. The woman was sick, poor, and alone. Jairus and the woman were as different as two people could be, but they had two things in common. One, they both had a desperate need for healing. Two, they were both desperately loved and cared for by God. Jesus met each of them where they were. Jesus cared for people not because they had an impressive resume or could do anything for Him but because of who they were. They were people created in God’s image, fearfully and wonderfully made, just like you and me.
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As you are sitting at the dinner table with your family, read Genesis 1:26-31 together. After you finish reading, ask everyone what they think it means to be made in God’s image. Explain that, literally translated, it means we bear God’s image; in other words that we reflect or represent God. If God says that is true about us, then it is true about EVERY person. What an amazing thing to think about. That means that we have a responsibility to treat every single person we come in contact with as an image bearer of God!
As you are driving, ask your family to be specific about people who are different than them that they may or may not know personally. Then discuss why it can be hard to respect or view them in the same way God does. Teach them how God has made us all different in lots of ways, but God cares for all of us the same. Pray with your family that God will change your heart and mind to view people the way He does.
Spend a little time every night this week as family encouraging each other. Have everyone share how they were reminded of God through each other. Everyone should start by saying, “I saw God in you today…” Be watchful throughout the day in how you truly see God in your family.
As your family is getting ready for the day encourage them to look for ways to respect others. That could mean teachers, friends, classmates or siblings! Tell them to come home ready to share how they were able to show respect, and then thank God for the opportunity and strength to reflect Him to others.
Ask God to let you see people the way He sees them so that even when you meet people who are difficult, you can be respectful because you know God cares for everyone. Also pray this for the kids in your small group so that together you can lead by example wherever you go this week.
Next week we will continue in this month's character trait, RESPECT!