“Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money” (1 Timothy 3:2–3).
Respectability invites respect. You may say, “I cannot get any respect.” If so, on what do you base your expectations? Is it your charm, charisma, or ability to converse well? None of these mean you are respectable; in fact, they can repel respect and garner disrespect. Your skills and gifts require character to garner the admiration of others.
Respect is earned, not demanded. It is sustained by influence, not position. Presidents, preachers, and parents are given respect by their position, but if they consistently under-perform or lack integrity, respect is lost. It is not a right of the irresponsible, but a privilege of the dependable. Respectable leaders get right results in the right way.
Respectable leaders also rise to the occasion and do the right things. They persevere and provide stability instead of panicking and creating chaos. They take responsibility by espousing the values of the organization, not by gossiping and blaming others. There is a depth of character that runs deep within their souls, not to be stolen by sin.
Lastly, respectable leaders are well thought of when their track record is one of trustworthiness, honesty, and follow through. However, the goal is not for people to like you. They may not like you when you lovingly hold them accountable, but they will respect you. They may not like your discipline, but they will respect your consistency. They may not embrace your beliefs, but if expressed in humility they will respect you. Perhaps you ask, “Am I respectable?” If so, you can expect respect.
The Bible says, “A sensible person wins admiration, but a warped mind is despised” (Proverbs 12:8, NLT).
Prayer: What area of my character needs growth and transformation so as to solicit respect?
Related Readings: Exodus 18:21; Proverbs 15:27; John 10:12–13; Romans 16:18
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