Do not consider yourself wise. Fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first and best part of all your income.
Do not reject the discipline of the Lord, my son.... (Proverbs 3:7, 9, 11 GW)
(Context—Proverbs 3:7-12 GW)
How would you describe respect? Three different types of respect come to mind for me.
Probably the most common one could be termed surface respect—it's shallow as the term implies. It's shown when the boss comes around or when trying to impress someone of importance.
Some respect is born out of sheer fear, dread, or fearfulness. It's an anxious fear that tends to cause people to flee or freeze up.
Respect can also be earned or gained through honorable deeds or character. This is a respect of admiration and may even be mutual.
The fear of God can be defined as respect but it's a different kind of respect. It reflects a sense of awe, honor, and wonder. Reverence—the out-dated English word—is sometimes used as a synonym but falls short of its biblical meaning.
The fear of God is not born out of anxiety but love and trust. It's a healthy and wise sense of respect, awe, and wonder for the Creator and Sustainer of life.
A blessing is promised to those who honor their parents in one of the ten commandments (Exo 20:12). This holds true for those of us who know God as our Father. When we honor Him, He honors our respect and blesses us with His favor—His kindness.
When believers learn to honor and thank God as the provider of our wealth and possessions, it works to our benefit even further.
Likewise—as parents guide and warn their children for their good—God provides discipline for us in our lives through the trials, tests, and temptations He allows. When we reject and resent them like pouting children, we lose out.
When we live our lives in humility with honor and reverent respect for the Lord, we keep the door open for His fatherly care in ways beyond our understanding as His children.
What benefits have you experienced in life from respecting and honoring the Lord in the ways described in these verses? When things don't go your way, do you get angry and bitter? Or, do you ask God for perspective on things that need to change?
Start each day seeking the Lord and His guidance for the day. Ask for His help to walk in humility, graciousness, thankfulness, and surrender to His guidance and correction in your life.
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