Andy Hollifield 5-6-17

Romans 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Ephesians 6:2 Honour thy father and thy mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)

1Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in word and doctrine.

Honor———–honesty, fairness, or integrity in one’s beliefs and actions; a source of credit or distinction

Respect———esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability, to show regard or reverence for

Honor and respect. Two things that are increasingly disappearing as a way of life. As a young child, I remember being taught by my parents that you respected the Lord, the preacher, policeman, old folks, women, veterans, and adults in general unless they proved they deserved otherwise. I was also taught to honor and respect other folks property and especially the church because it was God’s house and unlike anywhere else I went. I didn’t run in the church or leave gum wrappers on the bench. I even took off my hat when I went to get water while mowing the church yard. Those days have seemingly faded into history far too soon.

I am encouraged, as I mentioned recently, with the current generation of young people today. It would seem that they have adopted standards from days gone by. Standards that my generation have deemed as old-fashioned and outdated. Jeremiah said it best in chapter 6 verse 16 when he said, “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” It seems that young folks are starting to figure out that the old paths are still the good way. I have met several lately that are trying desperately to walk therein. I have also noticed some character traits about these young folks. They are becoming increasingly respectful of others. A lot of them show a level of self-respect in the way they dress, talk, and conduct themselves in general. I am not trying to harp about a dress code but I am thankful to see a lot of young folk that dress modestly both in and out of the house of God.

What is more alarming than the fact that our younger generation is gaining respect and honor for others, is the fact that a lot of us older ones seem to be “forgetting our manners” as our parents would tell us, as we get older. We seem to be unwilling to take the time to be polite and neighborly like we used to. The bible is very clear that honour is first due to him. He then gave the fifth commandment to “honor our father and mother.” As the scripture above mentioned, it is the first commandment with promise. The promise as stated in Exodus 20:12 “that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” Ephesians 6:3 says “that it may be well with thee.”

1 Timothy 5:17 talks about respecting your elders that have ruled well. We often leave the end off. You don’t deserve respect just because you got old, that happens to everyone that lives long enough. But it says those “that rule well” and especially those “who labor” in word and doctrine. Don’t think because you got old and show up occasionally that everyone is supposed to beat a path to your door. How much have you labored? Is your doctrine sound? In short, have you done anything worthy of respect?

As I look back at my life, I see Bruce and Stella West, Ralph McClean, Pop Wheeler, Jesse Bass, Sally Bryan, Rene Arrowood, Carl Robinson, Henry Rice,Benlee   Honeycutt, and many more too numerous to mention that are worthy of double honor. Not because they thought they deserved it but because they didn’t think they did. All of these folks filled different roles in my life at different times. But they each one, in their own way, ingrained in my mind, various doctrines and attitudes of service that helped shape me into who I am.

So as you watch the news and see the blatant disrespect that many have for authority and each other, just remember that their eyes have not been opened to the truth of the gospel. Honor and respect don’t come natural, they have to be taught and learned. I want to mention an example of young folk showing respect and honoring their classmates. As the buses arrived back at Joe P. Eblen Intermediate School following the Special Olympics, those students were greeted with the school driveway lined full of their classmates cheering them for their accomplishments. I felt like that was a class act by the student body to bestow that kind of honor and respect usually reserved for the most accomplished. That day, it was bestowed upon those with the biggest hearts. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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