RESPECT IS THE BEGINNING OF BASIC MORALITY.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Exodus 20:3-17.
Verse of the Day: “Show proper respect to everyone” (1 Peter 2:17, NIV).
Stacy ran to the front door as soon as she heard her parents put their key in the lock. She and her preschool brother had stayed home with a baby-sitter while Mom and Dad went to Stacy’s school to meet with her teacher.
“What did she say?” Stacy asked, before Mom and Dad had even taken their coats off. “Did she show you my artwork? Did you sit at my desk?”
Mom and Dad laughed at Stacy’s excitement, but asked her to wait until they had hung up their coats and paid the baby-sitter. Once the baby-sitter left, Mom and Dad sat on the living room couch on either side of Stacy.
They started answering her questions, and Dad finally said, “We’re very proud of you, Stacy. Your teacher said many good things about you. But do you know what we think is the best thing she said?” After Stacy shook her head, Dad continued, “She said you are her most respectful student.”
Stacy smiled broadly as her mother added, “That’s what we liked best out of all the good things your teacher said about you, because respect is so important… and so rare these days.”
“I’ve got an idea!” Stacy announced. “Let’s play the ‘What If?’ game!” “All right,” Mom said, shrugging and exchanging smiles with Dad. “What if everyone in the world treated others with respect?”
Stacy jumped up and down. “Nobody would . . .” she said, then started over. “Nobody would break the Ten Commandments.”
“Where did that come from?” Mom asked, surprised at Stacy’s unexpected answer. “What do you mean?”
“Wait a minute,” Dad said, his eyes wide with realization. He looked at Stacy. “Stacy, you’re absolutely right.” He turned to his wife. “Think about it,” he said. “One way to look at the Ten Commandments is that they’re commandments to respect. The first commandment tells us to respect God. The second commandment says to respect God’s uniqueness. And the third and fourth commandments say to respect God’s name and God’s Sabbath.”
Mom looked from Dad to Stacy. “Respect your parents,” she added. “Respect life. Respect marriage. Respect other people’s property … you’re right! If we truly respect others, we wouldn’t break the Ten Commandments-just like Stacy said!” Stacy beamed at both her parents. “Did I give a good answer?” she asked. “You sure did,” Mom and Dad said simultaneously.
TO DISCUSS: How do the Ten Commandments encourage respect? What other commandments can you think of that encourage respect for others?
TO PRAY: “Father God, help us to see how important respect is. Help us to see that respect for you and for others pleases you. And help us to see that respect for others will help us make other right choices.”