RESPECT INVITES THE ADMIRATION AND APPRECIATION OF OTHERS.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Romans 13:2-3.
Verse of the Day: “Do what is good, and you will have praise” (Romans 13:3, NASB).
Bruce huddled with the rest of his team. Their church youth group had divided into two teams to play a game of touch football. Bruce was the captain of his team; their youth pastor, Pastor Paul, was the captain of the other team. Bruce’s team was ahead by two touchdowns.
“I’ve got an idea,” Dylan said as Bruce and the others formed a tight circle to plan their next football play. He smiled mischievously. “On this next play. Kevin and I are going to run straight for Pastor Paul. . . and de-pants him!”
Bruce lifted his head and scanned the large group of boys and girls who were playing and watching the game. “You can’t do that!” Bruce said.
“Why not?” Dylan grinned wickedly. “Hope his underwear’s clean!”
“No way,” Bruce said, shaking his head. “It’s not right.”
“Oh, come on,” Dylan said. “Loosen up. It’s just a harmless prank.”
“It wouldn’t be right,” Bruce repeated. “Look, Pastor Paul’s a cool guy, and he’s a lot of fun and all that, but he’s still our youth pastor. I think it would be disrespectful.”
“No, it wouldn’t,” Dylan said, but the other faces around the huddle wore expressions that seemed to agree with Bruce. “All right,” he said, frowning. “Let’s just play football.”
The game continued. Although Pastor Paul’s team staged a comeback and tied the game, Bruce’s team won, scoring a touchdown on the final play of the game.
Later, after most of the youth group had left, Pastor Paul approached Bruce and clamped a hand on his shoulder.
“Hey, Bruce,” he said, smiling, “I hear Dylan was plotting to de-pants me during the game.”
“Yeah,” Bruce said, nodding.
“I also hear you told him to forget it, that it would have been disrespectful.” “Yeah.”
Pastor Paul released Bruce’s shoulder and slapped him firmly on the back. “Thanks, amigo,” he said. He locked gazes with Bruce. “You made the right call, and I really appreciate it.”
Pastor Paul walked away then, but his words left a warm feeling in Bruce’s heart.
TO DISCUSS: Do you think Bruce made the right call? Why or why not? How do you show respect for your church leaders and for others in authority? Why do you think Pastor Paul’s words gave Bruce a warm feeling? Do you think those who are respectful usually receive more admiration and appreciation than those who are disrespectful? Why or why not?
TO PRAY: “Lord, open our eyes to the ways respect for others benefits us.”