Do you want to understand the technical and medical issues with respect to the roiling debate over the Coronavirus (COVID-19)? Yes? Then don’t bother with Insanitybytes22’s post. That is not the subject. Instead, the subject is respect, the respect we owe each other.
One of the most difficult things for us human beings is to just live and let live. When someone believes something different from what we believe, we don’t easily find contentment in our own beliefs. Instead, Satan tempts us with our desire to prove our certitude. Satan inspires us to change the mind of or destroy that other, that other who as an affront to our pride dares to believe what we do not.
Some politicians, giving politics a bad name in the process, take advantage of our haughty and unyielding pride. They make use of our differences and pit us against each other. Devious leaders use our hatred against the “other” to persuade us to give them power and authority we would otherwise never entrust them with.
Therefore, if we want to understand the success of the likes of Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, we must examine our own character, not the character of devious leaders. Are we willing to respect our neighbor’s right to do and believe as he or she wishes, so long as our neighbor respects the rights of others? Are we willing to show respect for others by respecting their right to be treated as a child of God equal to our self? If we are not willing to accept the equality our neighbors in the eyes of God, if cannot permit others to be free, then we ourselves are not fit for freedom.
Thus, the price we pay for not respecting the image of God in other human beings is slavery. For to be free, we must accept the right of our disagreeable neighbors to be free.
Perhaps it is because I am a bit older, a Gen X, or perhaps it is because I’ve always believed in cultivating this kingdom culture of honor, of respecting the dignity of other people, no matter how they are behaving? Regardless of where it comes from, I do hold those values close to my heart. Aretha Franklin once said, “respect is a basic human right.” Amen.
It’s a basic human right not because people are worthy, not because people have earned it, but because we wish to honor the Imago Dei within, the fact that people were made in the image of God.
I do hold those values and I hold them up in stark contrast to the values going on in our modern culture right now, our modern world. Oh my goodness, have we ever flipped a 180 and tried to just build a world out of contempt, rebellion…
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