Matthew 23:1-12 – “Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. 4 For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. 6 They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 7 greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ 8 But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” NKJV
I have a friend who would often say to his children when they questioned something, “…because I said so…” He felt that it did not matter what he said they should obey his command even if his own actions contradicted that edict. I have said to my children, “…because I said so…” but never felt that it was sufficient as a standalone statement and felt that due to the immediate or imperativeness of the situation explanation might not be in order and compliance was required but believe that usually a fuller explanation would be beneficial.
Jesus addresses the hypocrisy of the Pharisees in their list of religious lists of do’s and don’ts but themselves failed to comply. If they considered something wrong or contrary to the Law and their modification of the Law they operated other than the principle taught in what we call the Golden Rule of Matthew 7. The principle: “Do unto others AS we would have the do unto is” applies to all facets of life and is directly connected to forgiveness, mercy, judgment and is illustrated in the Law of Sowing and Reaping and the Law of Giving Jesus addressed in Luke 6. The Pharisees demanded obedience to their directives (What they said) opposite of what Paul taught when he said, “…follow me AS I follow Christ…” (1 Corinthians 11:1)
I heard a person some time ago tell his wife, “You WILL respect me!” He felt that because he was the husband and a man he had the authority to tell her what to do, when and how to do it. He felt that if he said frog she should ask how far she should leap. If he came home he demanded that food be on the table and if he wanted a drink she should be there to respond to his beck and call. He would belittle her in public making light of something she said or did and expose her to harsh criticism. He then was stunned that she showed him no respect. He was reaping what he was sowing and if he wanted her to show him respect he needed to give respect. If he wanted her to be caring he need to demonstrate concern. He did not and received exactly what he planted.
If we want people to be understanding we need to sow seeds of understanding and keep the Law of Sowing and Reaping near to our hearts. Just because you show understanding does not mean that person is going to immediately change their attitude and reciprocate but if you remember that we reap WHAT we sow, LATER than we sow and MORE than we sow you can continue planting seed for the harvest you desire. Everyone will not appreciate or reciprocate so rather than be discouraged allow the Heart of Jesus to flow through you and as my grandmother used to tell me, “kill them with kindness”. I never mastered that growing up and it is no wonder that I experienced much of what I did. She, on the other hand, was one of the kindest human beings I have ever known and people loved her dearly and respected her greatly. She was unfazed by what others did but demonstrated what was in her heart and reflected Jesus powerfully.
So if you are not getting the respect you would like and people are responding negatively to you more than you would hope try to give them what you would like to receive. Begin planting seed for a harvest that will come!
God bless as you go through this day!