One of the first things I learned when I began youth ministry: Complicated doesn’t work in ministry. It’s far better to simplify.
And, as I read God’s Word more, I began to understand that living life the way He calls us to is not complicated at all. In fact, it is very simple. Every choice we make in life can be boiled down to a very simple directive from His Word. To live with respect.
Our campus pastor uttered an acronym which, though not intended, my mind equated as a perfect model for what Biblical respect means:
G.P.S. – God, People, Self.
Just as GPS devices guide us through modern life’s travels, so can living with the GPS model of respect guide us through our walk with God and our relationships with others.
So here is a look at the GPS model of Biblical respect, along with Scripture references for each, which I encourage the readers to explore more on their own.
GOD: Your actions here first and foremost should honor God. He’s the reason we’re here. He created you, but He also created everyone around you. He is the reason we have hope, and He loves us more than anything. We respect His house, and honor His position as Lord of our lives. This means, above all, we act according to His word. (See Deuteronomy 6:5-6)
PEOPLE: We all need God. You respect that each person is God’s creation, and has hopes, dreams, fears, and also rights, just the same as you do. Just as you want to be loved and treated with respect, so does the person next to you.
This means being willing to put the needs of others ahead of your own, and also treating them with the same respect with which you want to be treated. Your words and actions should always seek to build each other up, never tear each other down. (See Ephesians 4:29-32)
SELF: You are a wonderful and beautiful creation of the Lord, so be willing to see yourself that way. Rise above the expectations that the world places on you of image and success, and strive to live in such a way that respects who you are, inside and out.
Take care of your body as a temple of the Lord, nourish your mind, and most of all find joy in your spirit. Be careful not to make choices that will harm your body, mind or soul. Be wary of what, and who, you allow to influence you, and make sure those influences are building you up, not tearing you down.
Also, don’t tear yourself down with your own thoughts, always remember who you are, and who you were created to be, is a jewel and a treasure in God. You matter to Him. (See 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
“Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ ... ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.’” Matt. 22:37, 39-40
Daniel Kiewel is a Youth Leader at CrossPoint Church in Great Bend, and maintains a faith-based blog at www.breakthetape312.com. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.