Inspiration: Respect

image via oh hello friend
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I have a hard time with this concept: I know how to respect others, but not how to love and cherish my own self.  Its easy to be down on yourself and not require respect from other people.  Especially, if you're a "feeler" like me and you just want to show grace, love and patience. Isn't that what Jesus-followers are supposed to do??

Eventually, your patience is taken too far {you're only human and don't always abide in Christ perfectly 24/7} , the love saps out of your heart and you're ready to kill someone. Why did I let that person do that to me?? Then you have a problem - some boundary was crossed. And you're left wondering where God is ??

Its hard to set boundaries - to be discerning and stand up for the justice in your life just as much as in the lives of others.   However, if you don't show them how to treat you, they'll never know what you expect of them.  They won't treat others well either - sort of like what parents do to their children. You have to value yourself enough to say "no" and teach others to love and value you too. God doesn't want us to be doormats {this is a new concept for me, I always knew it was important to stick up for the rights of others, but to stand up for myself? ... what if I'm wrong??}  - but love our neighbors as ourselves - we can teach each about respecting ourselves and each other by demonstrating it. 

Since leaving the semi-protected campus of Northwestern College - where most people love you and want to see you grow -  I have to repeat to myself, daily, that I am worthy of others respect, that I get to be my own person and make my own decisions.  I get to have my own walk with God.  

I've had to stop assuming that everyone was nice, reasonable, and emotionally-well-adjusted.  Wrong, {yeah, yeah I know I'm glass-half full sort of gal} people got baggage, man, that makes them not so fun to be with sometimes.

Its part of growing up, though, not only that you have more responsibilities and have to stand up on your own, but that not as many people will be automatically looking out for you - defending you - you must stand up on the Gospel, Truth, Love and Justice - against those who would seek to take your sense of value and peace in Christ, and the value from others. No one else will do this for you unless you ask for help {which sometimes you need, because people can be intimidating sometimes}. Its found in the church too {p.s. sin and brokeness does not skip over churches like the Angel of Death in Egypt}

If you are good at reading folks, its important to call them out in respect, and hopefully, they'll do the same for you. Your opinion/feelings are valid and need to be dealt with in and with respect. None of this enabling, self-pity junk, complaining behind their back {ack! so guilty} - its not the way to go.  Tough love is still love. 

So I made this graphic art in memory of this lesson learned {still learning}. Enjoy