Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another Ephesians 5:21
“When we treat people merely as they are, they will remain as they are. When we treat them as if they were what they should be, they will become what they should be.”
Thomas S. Monson
The characteristic we look at today is Respect.
Respect – Empowers others – This is truly confidence in another person that they are able to solve their own problems. We are to empower other people to be their own problem solver. We as caregivers cannot take on ownership of the problems that our care receivers encounter. We can walk with them to solutions of their own choosing, having given godly counsel. In order to give away power, which is what we are really called to do, we must be at PEACE with God and ourselves and know that He is in control and we are not.
The final characteristic we look at this week in leadership and care giving is that of Respect. I like the idea that respect for another means that we trust that they are competent to solve their own problems, even if, at times, they may need a little help. After all, all of us need help at various times to get through some tough spots.
The idea of having the power to be of help to others means that it is our job, as leaders and care givers, to give away power to others. To the extent that we can help people to solve their own problems, and not disrespect them by taking over the problem, we are being respectful and caring.
If we have deep peace that God is in control, and that we trust him to be the ultimate care giver, we can have true respect for those we care for. There is an old adage, “Do not do something for someone that they can do for themselves”. There is truth in it. Certainly, we do certain things for people simply because we want to help and care for them. However, if we take over some tasks for them that they should/could be doing for themselves, we might be disrespecting them without really understanding that.
There is another counselor adage that is often helpful to think about. “Don’t work harder than your client to solve a problem that they present”. Again, if I am investing more effort than my client to solve a problem, is that showing respect that they can indeed work things out?
Indeed, I trust that my clients can do just fine without me. To the extent that they invite me with them into the problem solving that they intend to do, I am more than glad to help.
So, respect means that I give the message to others that they are competent to do what they need to do. I will be glad to help, but I affirm to them that success is theirs in solving their problem.
If I have gotten them to the resources, and to the ultimate source of help, the God of the universe, I have done my job.
Prayer: Lord, you would have us show respect to others by directing them to you for true healing, Amen.