Titus 2:15 - Commanding Respect
Titus 2:15 "Teach these things, as you use your full authority to encourage and correct people. Make sure you earn everyone's respect." (CEV)
I saw a movie recently in which the main character, a newly-commissioned officer, was put into a training company under a captain, who obviously didn't have the respect of the men in this group.
Throughout the training the captain would do things that would artificially induce his men to "respect" him. He'd haul them up short if they passed him without a salute. He'd be all over the men if they failed to address him as "sir". But throughout this training he failed to *earn* the respect of each man under him. They respected him because he demanded it, not because he earned it in their eyes.
At the end of the movie, the two officers meet up again............the trainee now a seasoned staff officer outranked his former commander. The captain tried to make it past his "student" without a salute, and the "student", now a major, stopped him and reminded the captain that "you salute the rank, not the person bearing it". This is precisely what the captain hammered home to his trainees.
When I read tonight's scripture I thought of this movie.
I particularly like this translation of the scripture from Brother Paul because it conveys the idea that in order to be an effective leader a person must *earn* the respect of those he or she leads. It is when a person earns this respect that they are able to effect some real influence in others. It's not an easy thing to do, but it is essential if anyone is going to truly lead others in the ways of the Lord.
Earning respect is much harder than demanding it. There is a great deal more personal energy I must invest in earning another's respect. And I must always remember that what it takes so long to earn can be lost in a instant if I fail to measure up to the other's expectations..........and once that happens it's immeasurably harder to gain the respect back.
To be a good disciple doing the Lord's work I must remember this very important point that Paul is bringing up. It can have a great deal of influence on how I, an ambassador of Jesus Christ, am received.....for I must never forget Who I represent.
Love in Jesus,
"But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired." (1 Corinthians 12:18 NASB)
"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission."
This devotional was originally posted on CCI-Devo - Daily Group Devotionals on April 20, 2004 in post #532. It was written by Jim Ross, a former United Pentecostal Church member, who attends Christian Challenge International, the sponsor of the devotional group. The devotional is the copyright of Jim Ross and is reprinted on this site by permission.
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August 23, 1997
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