You are welcome to bring that Aretha Franklin song into play as an intro into this blog, please, go ahead and sing it. However if you are a woman you may have to ponder how far respect has come since the days Jesus visited planet earth. You see, in his day, men used to go to the Temple and pray things sich as "Thank God I am not a woman".*
With all that is going in our nation these past few days it seems we have forgotten that God created all of us as equally flawed human beings, but he sent his son to remind us all how to treat one another. No accident that Jesus spent a good bit of his time speaking with those whom the society in his day cast aside, such as women, tax collectors and general sinners. What he gave them was respect, and for those engaging in bad behavior, a way to end it.
He showed us that regardless of gender, race or life classification, he first loved, then advised. The words "there is now no condemnation in Christ Jesus" were lived, not just spoken. Why is it we feel the need to undo all of that and think that one of us in better than the other? Again, the words describing Jesus, "he made himself nothing..."
Things for certain people may have seemed like we have "come a long way baby" in 2000 years, but the more things change, the more they seem to remain the same for others. It is only by the grace, humility and actions of people who understand why Jesus really came, not just to save us, but to change the way we think, that we can bring about a real change of attitude in this world.
Certainly not using a certain flag, or changing some ridiculous rules that hold back by gender or race may help, but it is real change in our own hearts that will make the difference. So let's not point that finger at others when it should be pointed right back at us, let's not complain about others (like those Jewish men in the temple) when we are part of the problem. Let's give r-e-s-p-e-c-t without any respect of who we are giving the respect to, as the Lord would have us do.
Sing it Aretha, and may that melody linger in our hearts in the way we act toward others!
* From the book "The Jesus I Never Knew".
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.