Living Free - March 9, 2016

Today's Scripture

"Show proper respect to everyone." - 1 Peter 2:17 NIV

Thoughts for Today

The third vital quality we need to develop in helping a hurting loved one—and in every relationship—is respect. People with life-controlling problems might not seem to deserve our respect, but our respect for them could be one of the keys to their healing. Even if their life is controlled by destructive behaviors, people deserve respect as a human being.

Respecting loved ones with a life-controlling problem doesn't mean you should own their problem or rescue them from taking responsibility for their behavior. It does mean you should treat them as equals and not put them down.

How is this possible? First, you need to separate them from their behavior. Look beyond their wrong behavior and see them as God's creation. Even though you cannot respect their wrongdoing, you can respect them as a person.

Second, remember that God loves us no matter what we do. He gave us free will even though we sometimes use that freedom in harmful ways. Jesus died for us while we were still sinners. If God shows us this kind of love and respect, how can we do less for each other?

Consider this …

Ask God to help you love and respect people as his creation even when you can't respect what they are doing. Difficult? Yes. But with Christ, all things are possible.


Lord, teach me to separate people from their behavior and learn to love and respect them as your creation. In Jesus' name …

These thoughts were drawn from …Understanding the Times and Knowing What to Do by Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee. This book offers biblical strategies for ministry to our family and friends. Contemporary issues and needs faced by society are addressed with biblical principles that are timeless. Ideal for small group leaders and Sunday school teachers who want a better understanding of ministry in an addictive culture.  



PO Box 22127 ~ Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421 ~ 423-899-4770
© Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending e-mail to
[email protected].

  • Editors' Picks

    Stop Trying to Read the Bible in a Year!
    Stop Trying to Read the Bible in a Year!
  • The God of All Weather
    The God of All Weather
  • Does Islam Promote Violence?
    Does Islam Promote Violence?