Respect has always been very important to me. Whether at work, or in my marriage, or just in casual conversation with complete strangers. I'm blessed to be skilled at my job. I'm blessed to have a good memory which means that I can yank out of a hat the most random factoids and tidbits to fit almost any conversation. I expect people to respect me for those things because...well...because they should right? Isn't that how respect works?
During a meeting that I was in a few weeks back a coworker was talking about our development team in no so flattering terms and I got so mad I could barely speak. I was so tired of her negativity, and her complaining, and her lack of respect (see where this is going?). I blew up at her in the middle of the meeting in front of about 8 or 9 other people and I showed her...didn't I?
As I was talking to my wife this evening work issues I told her that story, along with a few others. I didn't think much of it, in fact I was almost proud that I defended our development team so well. The problem is that my wife decided that she wanted to dwell on that particular one. "You didn't show her much respect did you?" she asked me. My normal tendency would be to shoot back with some excuse, or reason, etc. but this time something made me stop and listen. "Why should she show you respect when you were killing her with your anger?".
My wife talked about "achieving low self-esteem", something our pastor spoke about this past weekend. It's not about allowing yourself to be used as a doormat, but about valuing others as God values them, not in how their social standing, or skills, says they should be valued. After our conversation I walked away deep in thought. I can only come to the conclusion that I place too high a value on respect. After all, the skills I have, and the memory, and the charm, those all come as gifts from God. So in the long run, shouldn't I value God, and through him, others? The Bible says "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.". Respect is that treasure for me...it's become too important to me and so I need to let it go in order to gain it.
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