There’s a difference between acknowledging something and respecting it.
Ac•know•ledge: Recognize the fact or existence of.
Re•spect: A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something, a particular aspect, point, or detail.
Let’s think about this for a second. If you are to acknowledge something, it bares no weight on your life. If you are to have respect, it tugs on your heart strings.
A girlfriend can acknowledge that her boyfriend has a past issue with pornography. But she still wears skimpy clothes because it makes him notice her body.
A girlfriend who respects that her boyfriend has a past issue with pornography will be more modest, so not to tempt him to fall into his old ways; and for him to get to know her mentally, that being a level he’s never experienced before because he could never get past the flesh.
An employee who acknowledges his boss is short-handed will see it and not care to help fill the empty gap.
An employee who respects that his boss is short-handed will step up and help fill the void.
A child who acknowledges their parents rules, feels no disregard in dishonoring them.
A child who respects their parents rules, will feel conviction before they even begin to bring dishonor to them.
“Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.” – 1 Peter 2:17
Respect is a matter of showing honor. When you honor someone or something, your respect for that person or situation billows out of your actions. Exodus 20:12 says, ‘Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.’
When you dishonor someone or something you show a lack of respect for that person or situation. God clearly makes it known to us, when we honor others, He shows honor to us by rewarding us. It is a mutual respect between God and yourself.
There is a massive difference between knowledge and understanding. Almost everyone knows 3.14 is pie but not everyone understands the true equation. When you just know of something it has little to no meaning to you but when you truly understand it, you respect it so much more.
Almost everyone can say they’ve seen a rocket go to space on TV but very few people can say they understand how it got there. A rocket scientist takes pride in his job and respects everything that goes into getting that rocket into space, meanwhile, all those who don’t fully understand the process, don’t show the same level of respect, for the same exact situation.
Acknowledging that something has or is happening isn’t always enough. It takes true respect for the situation or person at hand for us to grow in it and with it.
We study in school to become smarter, it says in scripture to study to show ourselves approved.
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15
That simply means, to the girlfriend who knows her boyfriend is struggling, she will need to study the situation to try to fully understand what he has gone through and how he has gotten over it, to be sure he doesn’t fall back into it. When she only acknowledges his previous pain and weakness, if she’s not careful, she will only enable him to fall back into that temptation. She will have to respect the sensitivity of the situation and fully understand how to prevent that past issue from becoming a current struggle.
If I am totally honest with you, respect is not always easy. When the other person or the situation is constantly making it difficult to show respect, that is when you must remind yourself, your goal is to look more like Jesus everyday. It’s not always easy, it will test your patience and strength in the Lord but it will be totally worth it. You are more than a conqueror, through Christ overcoming the world, you have been given the strength and power to overcome this situation or trial you seem to be facing. Take heart in the Lord, He will sustain you, and you will come out victorious in Jesus’ name!
“In this world you will have trouble but TAKE HEART for I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
It is easy to acknowledge a situation or circumstance, it’s totally worth it though, to respect it and come out victorious!
Remember, at the end of the day you are not only showing respect for yourself but for those involved. The way you make someone feel will stay with them much longer than any word that flows from your mouth. It says in God’s word that we will be held accountable for the effect we have on everyone in our life, whether it be positive or negative. Show respect, not only for yourself but for the impact it will have on everyone else involved!
Thank God He trusts us enough to have this powerful influence on every single person we come in contact with, I pray we never take these opportunities for granted, but we take advantage of every encounter. I pray that we strive to make people feel the love of Jesus with every word we say and action we perform. If God trusts us enough to build each other up, let’s show respect for that and not just acknowledge it. Let’s respect the magnitude that holds and not just be passive with this tremendous blessing of an opportunity, given to us by the Creator of Heaven and Earth!
Let’s not just acknowledge what God instructs us to do, lets actually respect the instruction He is giving!