I woke up early just outside Tiberias. The sun was about to rise over the Sea of Galilee. It had been a late night, but my heart needed more rest than my body, so I pulled out my notes to look up the Scriptures we’d focus on during the day ahead.
I began in Matthew 5, pausing at each people or characteristic Jesus declares as blessed: poor in spirit, those who mourn, the gentle, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, and those who are persecuted. I continued to read verse 13: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled on by men.”
Because of a situation just a few hours before, my eyes and heart were opened wide to a message God wanted to make very clear to me. We can’t demand or even expect respect. And when we give it, we need to be mindful of our motives. We need to keep our expectations in check. We respect others because of who God is, not because of who they are and not because of who we are. We don’t know others’ hearts, experiences, or needs. God does. We sometimes conditionally extend respect, assuming if we respect them, they will (or should) respect us. I don’t know that we always know that’s the attitude we have, but it’s something we must be vigilant against.
I had tried to help someone else grow, but the morning light opened my eyes to apply the lesson to myself, too. “Never lose your saltiness. Never waste your influence. Love abundantly. Serve generously. Humble yourself continually. Never decide and define where you are. Let God.”
I’m glad He woke me up early and set my heart right before my feet hit the floor.