A Tradie relies on his tools, e.g., they influence the jobshe can or can’t do, the time spent on the job, and safety issues. Tools are essential to a Tradie’s livelihood – without tools a Tradie can’t do the work.
“A good workman looks after his tools.” My brother (who among other things is a Carpenter, Builder and Paver) said this to me once, and it stuck. I remember when my Mum, sister and I helped him with a renovation project. And by ‘helped’ I mean, he taught us (e.g.techniques to use tools when working in a tricky corner) so we could help. During this reno project, I noticed the care he took with his tools, e.g. when he showed us how to use them, as he worked and afterwards, as he cleaned his tools and returned them to their place.
A Tradie looks after his tools, he:
• Stores them correctly because it keeps the tools in good shape – “a place for everything and everything in its place.”
• Only uses tools that are in good working order, e.g. he doesn’t use dull blades, or a mallet with a loose head (that ain’t gonna do anyone any good)
• Knows rust is an enemy of tools (makes them unsafe and unusable), so he cleans his tools – wipes them down and conditions his tools, e.g. oil, which forms a seal on the tool
• Sees when a tool needs repair and he gets the tool repaired
• Knows to buy quality tools rather than buying something because it was on sale. He commits to quality, checks and clean his tools, because he knows it impacts the quality of his work
• May keep a few frequently used tools within easy reach for jobs around the house
Today we are putting the ‘tool’ of respect in your tool belt.
Respect (“the most neglected”) is: “the acknowledgement of a person’s worth. It includes honour, interest in, regard, recognition, admiration, and affirmation”
Respect is the most neglected tool in the four components, so let’s learn from Tradies and look after our relationship ‘tools’. Let’s:
• Work at nurturing our ‘tools’ to get them in good shape
• Realise Satan is an enemy to our relationships (he wants to make them unsafe and unusable). So let’s bring ourselves and our ‘tools’ before God, so He can work in us, and just like oil is used to seal a tool, the Holy Spirit is our seal (Eph. 1:13), let’s ask for His operation in our lives
• Notice if there is a problem with any of our ‘tools’ (e.g. out of balance, weak, etc) and work on repairing them and growing them in balance
• Realise our ‘tools’ impact the quality of our work. Let’s use our tools to build quality relationships
• Keep our tools handy at all times for use in our relationships It’s Demo Day, so, in our renovation, let’s bring respect back!
DEMOLISH: Devaluing behaviour
Stay connected to God:
One aspect of respect is giving recognition to who others are. Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” “Our attaining of wisdom begins with our relationship with God; that wisdom grows as we draw closer to our Lord; and our relationship with Him deepens as we begin to know His nature and His ways. Therefore, revere and honour the Lord, His reproofs, instructions, and advice with humility, knowing that from these come wisdom and understanding.”
• To give you understanding of His character
• To reveal Himself to you
• If you have any wrong or distorted views of His character and, if so, ask Him to bring His truth, so you have a correct view of His character! Another aspect of respect is appreciating someone in your life. This means appreciating God for Who He is and all He has done!
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” It’s easy to love those who love us, but while we were still in sin, God showed His love by sending His Son, and in love, Jesus gave His life for us. Almighty God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, made us for relationship with Him! He sought us and pursued us! That is mind blowing! God deserves all the glory and honour!
“Moses…asked the vital question: Who is our Supreme Commander? The answer pierced the air with crystal clarity; ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ (Exodus 3:14). Electric! Fascinating! Authoritative! All-encompassing! Conclusive!
♦ Supreme in authority
♦ Timeless in existence
♦ Unquestionable in Sovereignty
♦ Ingenious in creativity
♦ Limitless in power
♦ Terrible in wrath
♦ Majestic in splendour
♦ Awesome in holiness
♦ Infinite in wisdom and knowledge
♦ Unsearchable in understanding
♦ Dazzling in beauty
♦ Unfathomable in love
♦ Incomprehensible in humility
♦ Absolute in justice
♦ Unending in mercy
♦ Matchless in grace
God has totality of ownership, and is the ruling, reigning Monarch of the universe with an indestructible, eternal kingdom.”
J. Dawson Prayerfully read and meditate upon scriptures on who God is (part of respect is recognising who someone is and what they do). Here’s some verses from Isaiah 40, to get you started:
Isaiah 40: 9b-15
“Here is your God!”
See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power,
and He rules with a mighty arm.
See, His reward is with Him,
and His recompense accompanies Him.
He tends His flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in His arms
and carries them close to His heart;
He gently leads those that have young.
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
or with the breadth of His hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance?
Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord,
or instruct the Lord as His counsellor?
Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten Him,
and who taught Him the right way?
Who was it that taught Him knowledge,
or showed Him the path of understanding?
Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
they are regarded as dust on the scales;
He weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.
“To whom will you compare Me?
Or who is My equal?” says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of His great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.
Stay connected to others:
• Pray God’s love will be in you flowing out to others. Ask God for His strength, wisdom, insight, patience, peace, understanding, and compassion as you demolish devaluing and disrespectful behaviour and build respect in your life and relationships.
• Pray God would be the centre of your marriage and the centre of your home. Pray, His peace and truth would reign in your family. Pray that God would show you and lead you in His ways, with His truth and love.
• Pray your home will be filled with the Presence of God.
• Thank God for your “respect strengths” (as you continue to work to keep them strong).
• Thank God for the people in your world and their “respect strengths”.
• Thank God for the resources you have (e.g. His word) and the work of God (in your life and relationships) that will enable you to continue to build strong, healthy, satisfying, growing relationships with the people in your world.
• Pray God will help you grow in the areas of respect that are out of balance in your life and out of balance in your relationships. Pray God will show you (and your loved ones), which elements/characteristics of respect need nurturing and growth.
• Thank God for what He is going to do in your life and in your relationships!
Renovation process step one: DESIGN
Disrespect shows itself in behaviour such as, when someone ignores or pushes your boundaries, doesn’t listen to you, when it’s their way at all costs, when they put you down, and take care of their needs without considering you or your needs. In essence, disrespect is when someone treats you “as less than.”
There is a misconception respect means giving someone control, coming under his/her domination, and meeting his/her demands. But, if disrespect is treating someone as less than, the essence of respect is recognising and acknowledging the value and worth of someone. God created humankind; people are His by His creative act. He looked at His creation and said it is very good. And people who are saved, are His by His redemptive act. People have value given to them by God.
Genesis 1:27, 31a: “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them…God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good…”
At the Fall, sin entered the world and our sin separates us from God. But that’s not the end of the story – nothing takes God by surprise. God had a plan to reconcile man to Himself and nothing could stop Him fulfilling it. God sent His only, beloved Son, Jesus, to die for you – dealing with sin, redeeming and reconciling you to Himself through Jesus. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, you can have a restored relationship with God!! That’s how valuable you are! God established a love relationship, which He has never been willing to cancel.
Your value, your worth comes from God (see healthy relationships 3 & 4). Just as God made you to have value and worth, the same is true for the people in your world, they have value and worth given by God!
Respect has two parts:
1) Respect yourself
2) Respect others
To respect others, you need to respect yourself. This means understanding your God given value and worth (and in doing so, you can understand others’ God given value and worth). Read and meditate on scriptures that tell you what God says about you!
“For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].” Ephesians 2:10 (AMP).
Respect means realising and acknowledging the worth and value God has placed on people. You are precious in God’s eyes. The people in your world are precious in God’s eyes. Next time you look at your partner, family members, friends, etc., hit the pause button, take a moment and think about their value and worth which isgiven by Almighty God! Recognise and remember the people in your world have value and are vulnerable, so treat them with respect and they’ll feel safe around you.
The two parts of respect have another equally important function, which is vital to healthy relationships. All relationships involve choice. When others devalue you and treat you as less than, you can choose to recognise your value and worth by safeguarding yourself (see healthy relationships 7 for more on this). In other words, when others forget to respect you, you can choose to respect yourself. “If you can’t remember how valuable and vulnerable you are, then your whole well being depends on others remembering. To the degree they remember you are safe, but to the degree they forget, you aren’t safe. In that case, you are helpless and have no say.” Can you see the importance of recognising your value and vulnerability? When you know your value, worth and vulnerability, you can build and maintain a safe environment by creating healthy boundaries so that even if others forget at times that you are valuable and vulnerable, you can respect and safeguard yourself.
Renovation process step two: PLAN
1 Peter 2:17: “Show respect for all men [treat them honourably]. Love the brotherhood (the Christian fraternity of which Christ is the Head). Reverence God. Honour those in authority.”
Everyone has deep inner needs, to know:
• They are accepted
• They have significance and matter
• They have value and worth
These deep inner needs are fully met and satisfied in God alone.
Our needs are met through our identity in Christ:
• You belong to God (security, sense of belonging)
• You’re good and acceptable for He has redeemed you (self-worth)
• You have a good destiny (significance); being created in His image, redeemed for His glory, serving Him and living forever with Him.
Most people try and have their deep inner needs (e.g. self worth) met by other people or things rather than going to God. When these needs aren’t met, we may feel, for example, a love deficit (shortfall), or rejected. All relationships have the risk of rejection, which is defined as the sense of being unwanted. Because we live in a fallen word, we get wounded. We can develop responses to others and ourselves, e.g. resentment, hostility, depression, fear, insecurity, withdrawal or overachieving (to name a few). Because of wounds, we can become hard or hide. When we become hard, it’s an aggressive response. People build walls around themselves to protect self from further hurt, hiding the real self, replacing it with a false self projecting, e.g. success, niceness, or toughness. These walls, although we think they’re strong, are actually fragile and they will fail. And inside these walls, are wounds that need healing.
Walls are always built because people don’t feel safe –they feel threatened. Walls are built for protection and self-preservation. If there are walls in your life, or in those close to you, respect the wall was built because you or others felt unsafe. For example, walls could be built because trust was betrayed or because there is a lack of respect. So, what do we do? People don’t want to stay closed, in defensive mode. Generally, people “long for relationships in which [they] feel completely safe. [They] want to feel free to open up and reveal who [they] really are and know that the other person will still love, accept and value [them] – no matter what.”
Let’s say someone built a wall because of something you said and did. The first step is to respect the other person needs the wall right now. It’s about “seek[ing] to understand and value [the individual’s] concerns.” It’s important to let the other person know, you understand the wall is there because they don’t feel safe, and let them know that you will work on yourself (and not stop) till the other person eventually feels safe. Examine what it was you did to create an unsafe environment, and fix it. In other words, it’s not about insisting the individual gives you something, e.g. ‘trust me’, but it’s about you creating an environment of safety by working on yourself. If you try to bulldoze walls, you just confirm to the other person they aren’t safe around you.
God made us for healthy, safe relationships. He wants to come in His love and bring healing to emotional wounds. You are safe in His hands. Dear one, if you have been wounded by rejection, a Divine Exchange took place at the Cross – Jesus took our rejection so we could have acceptance with God! God doesn’t just put up with you – He loves you! God wants to come and bring healing to your wounds (for more info please see healthy relationships 3 & 4). God made you, and He has placed value on you! You have value, you have worth, you are precious and you are wanted!
Renovation process step three: CONSTRUCT
How to show respect:
You show acceptance: you don’t try to change the person or control them.
When we accept others for who they are, we free them from the pressure of being changed and moulded into the person we want them to be. Remember, we can’t change others, only ourselves. You welcome the person – it’s like saying, “I’m glad you are a part of my life!”
Q: How do the people in your world show they accept you? How do you accept others?
Q: If you are in a relationship, how does your partner express acceptance of you? How do you show your partner you accept them for who they are?
You give recognition: You notice people. You aren’t disinterested in them or tolerate them. You notice who a person is and what he/she does – and you let them know that you notice, appreciate, and recognise who they are and what they do!
Q: Do you notice people? Or are you disinterested in them or tolerate them?
Q: If you notice people, how do you give recognition for who they are and what they do? Think of an example. If you have a partner, how do you give him/her recognition? (Or family member/close friend)
Q: How do people in your world give recognition for who you are and what you do? Think of an example. If you have a partner, how does he/she give you recognition?
You give affirmation and encouragement: You believe in others and look for ways to build them up. You believe in others even when they might not believe in themselves and you encourage them (1 Thess. 5:11). You don’t take who they are or what they do for granted.
Think of an example of how you do this, and how the other person in your life does this for you.
You give appreciation: You express your pleasure of being a part of this person’s life (it’s personal).
Q: Do you do this for others (e.g. your partner/close friends & family members)? Think of an example.
Q: Do others do this for you (e.g. your partner/close friends & family members)? Think of an example.
You give admiration: You give credit to someone for his/her ability and there are no strings attached, no wrong motives or jealousy. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3).
Q: How do you do this for others (e.g. your partner/close friends & family members)? Think of an example.
Q: How does your partner/close friends & family members do this for you? Think of an example.
Respect isn’t just about what you say; it’s about what you do. Respect includes your non-verbal communication (body language). Respect can’t be partly given; anything less than 100% respect is not respect. Respect is about recognising and acknowledging a person’s value, worth and vulnerability.
All the best as you continue on the journey using respect to help you build strong healthy relationships!
See you next time, when we put the ‘tool’ of understanding in your tool belt!