by Lyndia Grant
Special to the NNPA from The Washington Informer
For the past five weeks, I’ve been recounting the principles that lead to greatness, shared in the book “It’s Not Over Until You Win” by my mentor, and world-renowned inspirational and motivational speaker Les Brown. This week, let’s discuss Principle No. 6: “Mutual respect, the fundamental element of human relations.” The term respect is defined as “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements;” therefore, mutual means the feelings you have for and show toward one another.
Scripture shares ways to build mutual respect in numerous ways; examples include: The Holy Spirit can help you build respect when you learn to keep conversations confidential. Who wants to tell a Christian a secret, only to learn that practically the entire church knows?
The Holy Spirit can help you build respect as you speak the truth in love. Assure people that you care for them and encourage them to voice their concerns objectively.
The Holy Spirit can help us build mutual respect for each other when we trust Him to help us focus on one another’s strengths rather than their weaknesses. God has given each person special strengths, abilities, and gifts which are unique to that individual. Rather than focusing your attention on what a person lacks, trust the Lord to help you highlight their positive attributes.
My radio show scriptural theme focuses on Paul and his words: “Think about things that are pure and lovely, dwell on the fine and good things in others, think about all the things you have to praise God for and be glad about.” (Phil. 4:8 – Phillips).
Ask the Lord to help you make the choice to speak to others about their strengths rather than what you may find irritating.
The Holy Spirit can help you build respect by excelling in your relationships and ministries. Peter, James and John were respected because of their excellent rapport with others and their effective ministry skills.
Luke wrote, “Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled because they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13) Ask God for help to excel in your relationships and ministries with the power of the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit can help you build respect when you make it known that you refuse to manipulate others. Ask the Lord for a more gracious attitude to serve one another as Christ would minister to them. Resist any temptation to use people, coerce individuals or try to influence others for your own selfish interests.
Helen Keller once said, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”
Remember, character counts. A special meaning given to our class by my pastor, the Rev. Dr. James Coleman about character – and one that I personally embrace goes this way: “Character is who you are when there is nobody looking!”
Mutual respect is built on honesty, and goodness! Treat others well, it will come back to you, the Bible tells us so. We do indeed reap what we sow! If you want others to respect you, then show them the respect they deserve. Luke 6:32 reminds us, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” And Matthew 7:12 says it this way: Therefore all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”
The Staple Singers got it right when they penned the song: “Respect Yourself.” Let’s take a look at the chorus, which says “Respect yourself, respect yourself. If you don’t respect yourself. Ain’t nobody gonna give a good cahoot. Respect yourself, respect yourself.”
Lyndia Grant is a radio talk show host on 1340, WYCB AM, Fridays at 6 p.m. Visit her website at www.lyndiagrant.com, call her at 202-518-3192; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.