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By Pastor Paul Gauche

Today’s Word: ‘Respect’ as in… this from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s classic discussion of Christian community in his book Life Together: The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.” Far be it from me to speak for Dietrich, but here’s what I believe he’s saying: Community is not something attained by my design of community but rather created together through the shared love and respect of the community members.

As image bearers of the Creator, we are ‘connected’ human beings, called and equipped to explore ways of integrating into healthy, life-giving relationships with others. We thrive as connected people by nurturing healthy relationships, practicing intentional acts of kindness, and showing hospitality to create trust and build respect that sustains community.

If trust is the bridge that connects us in a relationship, then respect is the embrace we share when we gather! Respect is a powerful gift created when we bring respect to the center of who we are together. When I give you my respect, and you give me your respect, we create something deeper, something healthier that binds us together in our relationships.

Respectful relationships are marked by all kinds of goodness: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – good fruit. There is celebration simply for the connectedness that is shared. There is admiration for the amazing gifts and abilities that rise to the top. There is gratitude for how the best in you and the best in me work together to create something better for the world… something better for the world! So, it does begin right here and right now with us. The rhythm of respect that we live into will be a witness to others of how to bring some good to each moment, something better to each day, and our best to each other as we encounter the world around us

 Thriving Reflections:

++ How does respect strengthen your relationships?

++ When do you find it most difficult to practice respect?

++ How does nurturing respect help you thrive?



Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #100days50words project, where he blogs about a different word each week. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche) or his blog, Thriving Rhythms.



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