WF Pride: Recognition and Respect of Others

WF Pride

Recognition and Respect of Others

Chad Cottingham

I remember walking down the hall when Mr. Reed came out of his classroom and told me to come see what just happened on TV. It was September 11, 2001 and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. As assistant principal, I couldn’t just sit there and do nothing, I had to report it to the principal ASAP. We needed to come up with a plan of action for staff, students and for the remainder of the day. The school was glued to the TV – the entire day. We couldn’t take our eyes off what just transpired. We were in shock! We were amazed that this could happen to the Unites States of America. This memory is forever etched in my brain – can you remember where you were on that fateful day?

It’s hard to believe that this past weekend was the 14th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon. Many tributes and celebrations took place to honor our fallen firefighters and policemen. The honor and respect these men and women were given made me proud. But not everyone feels this same way. What once united our nation like never before doesn’t quite get the same fanfare or credit it deserves. Instead, we have a growing number of people who strongly dislike, or even hate the police. In the last few months there has been a war on police. Social media sites, gangs, music lyrics, and hate speech are encouraging and promoting the assassination of police officers. It just blows me away. What have we sunk to as a nation where people are outwardly killing police and thinking its ok to do?

The war on police is just one example; it’s an extreme example and doesn’t affect most of us. But as a nation, we seem to be losing respect for different positions of authority. How about our politicians? How about our teachers and educational leaders? How about government officials? How about our boss at work? How about the little league or high school coach? Are any of these ringing a bell? I know we live in a free country and have the right to free speech. And we also have the right to disagree with those in authority. However, it seems like everyone is so angry and full of hatred when discussing any of the aforementioned positons? Why so much anger? Why so much emotion?

It’s ok to disagree with people and not see eye to eye, but are we disrespectful in expressing our views? Are we packaging our message in a way that honors the position, or are we convinced the only way to be heard is to scream and shout at the top of our lungs – maybe even via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc… The bible tells us to respect and submit to authority – all authority. It doesn’t say if you like them, or agree with them. It says all authority comes from God.
Romans 13:1-2 – Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. Romans 13:7 – Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority. ~NLT

“Dear Lord, help us to be people who demonstrate respect and honor to everyone. Help us love others with actions that are pleasing to you. Forgive us for being selfish and wanting our own way. Help us to let go and to let God be in control. It’s in the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.”