Respect is a positive feeling or action shown towards someone or something that is considered important, or held in high esteem or regard; it conveys a sense of admiration for good or valuable qualities; and it is also the process of honoring someone by exhibiting care, concern, or consideration for their needs or feelings. In Thai society it is expected to pay a lot of respect to people. The respect given in this society is a form of esteem, or high regard, because of a certain status that the receiver holds. The respect is often formal, and not always given with heartfelt respect. The term ‘phee’ (พี่) – or older brother or sister – is such a formal expression. When we talk about God or other important individuals, we also use special terms to indicate our respect.
I respected my father so I always called him ‘father’, and never papa or anything else. It seemed to me other names conveyed a closer and less formal relationship. However, every family is different. If I had my way, I would have wanted to have a papa, someone who stood close by me and with whom I could have been more intimate. But that was not the case.
Heartfelt respect has many facets and depends a lot on the relationship we have with an individual or a group of people. This is also affected by how we have developed that relationship and how we interact with others. Are we honest and transparent or fearful or suspicious of others?! Our attitude is very important when it comes to respect.
1 Peter 2:17 says: ‘Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.’
There are varying calibers in every relationship. What more do you want to learn about respect? Read through devotional #18 and use the questions for a thorough dialogue with friends about how to develop deeper respect for one another.
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