REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional is a reprint of Kate Moon’s blog originally posted on May 9, 2014. Kate continues to serve the Lord in E. Asia.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. 2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.”
When I think of older men I’ve come to really respect, two retired professors I’ve had the privilege of working with on-and-off over the years are among the first that come to mind. Over 60 years old and though not believers, when I spend time with them, I often find myself thinking, “When I get to be that age, I hope I can be like that.”
There is a level of respect that one automatically grants any other person because they are a fellow human being, and then there is a respect that is something more, granted to certain people because of a quality they have. Sometimes a person can be respected for their achievement, ability, the power they wield, or the position they hold. But when one person respects another from the heart, it often has more to do with who that other person is; their character, the way they treat people. When Paul instructs Titus to teach the older men to be “worthy” of respect, I think he is talking about this last kind.
I first started according these two professors this kind of respect upon discovering their unexpectedly humble and even teachable attitudes. Though they were experts in their fields and I was almost a generation their junior, they treated me as a colleague, asking for my input and deferring as often to my suggestions as I did to theirs. I also came to notice how, while they always pursued the highest standards of excellence, they also maintained a sense of humor and were able to take neither the work nor themselves over-seriously. They had a sense of perspective which could be called true wisdom.
Sometimes, as we get older, younger people around us will automatically give us a level of respect, just because of our age or the greater achievements of our longer lifetimes. While this is not a bad thing, if it were the only kind of respect people had for me, I would feel unsatisfied. Today, let’s pursue in becoming the kind of person with the character worthy of others’ respect.
Prayer: Lord, as I grow older, help me not to take the respect of others for granted. I do not live for their approval, but I know that if I have the respect of others that is given from the heart, somehow, I am doing something right. Help me to be a decent human being today. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 1 Corinthians 15
Lunch Break Study
Read Philippians 2:1-9: “ Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,  then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves . . .  In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature God . . .  made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant . . .[and] humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!  Therefore God exalted him to the highest place . . .”
1 John 2:6: “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”
Questions to Consider
- What do we receive out of our being united with Christ (v. 1)?
- What should the consequent effect be (v. 2-3)?
- When Jesus humbled himself, what did God do (v. 9)? How is this related to what our attitudes towards receiving the respect of others should be?
- Encouragement, comfort, sharing in the Spirit, tenderness and compassion. We need first to meditate on what we have received from Christ, because this is our motivation for obeying all that the Spirit exhorts us to do through Paul, in the following verses.
- Our trying to be like Christ, having his same attitude of love for and humility before others. As we get older, this takes more intentional effort on our part, because theoretically, we become wiser and more experienced than an increasing number of people around us.
- When Jesus did not seek to exalt himself, God exalted him. Trying to become people “worthy of respect” is different from trying to do things to “make” others respect us (i.e., boasting about our accomplishments, treating others as inferiors in position, etc.).
How respectful was I of others today? Remembering and thinking about Jesus, did I try to have an attitude of humility before others? Were there moments I had to swallow my pride? If you were successful in these areas today, be encouraged, because God has seen it; and whether you may know it or not, you may also have won the respect of others around you who were watching you today as well.