RESPECTA word that we hear so often nowadays, but what does it mean? Of course, like many words in our crazy, mixed up English language, there are many aspects of respect, but I just want to focus on just one, although it is probably the most important.
It is our respect for one other. Like a giant magnet it pulls in many other words - prejudice, bias, hatred and abuse, to name but a few.
Just look at just how these four words are linked to respect for one another, or more, accurately, to a lack of respect.
Prejudice - we all have preformed opinions on something or other and, if someone doesn't comply with these opinions, it can often lead to a lack of respect.
Bias - often the result of our own life experiences which again can often lead to a lack of respect.
Hatred - a ghastly word don't you think, which is often the final stepping stone towards violence, an extreme manifestation of a lack of respect.
Abuse - a word which is all too commonly used and applied in these days of still predominantly anonymous social media. Like hatred, it is an extreme manifestation of a lack of respect.
As Christians we have a duty to show respect for one another. To take people as they are. To be "blind" to race, creed, colour, disability, body form, gender, sexual orientation and so on.
We are all formed in one or other of God's many images. Please, let us not forget that when we are in the company of others.