"i don't get no respect"
"Display a perfect courtesy toward all." —Titus 3:2
Today many Christians have lost their credibility. The worldly, especially those running the mass media, don't think they need to take Christians seriously. They characterize us as stupid, backward, and harsh. We Christians don't seem worthy of a full-fledged persecution but only snide remarks and mocking snickers. To restore our credibility we should:
- "not...speak evil of anyone or be quarrelsome" (Ti 3:2),
- be good workers, "ready to take on any honest employment" (Ti 3:1),
- be good citizens (Ti 3:1), and
- "be forbearing and display a perfect courtesy" (Ti 3:2).
Think of those who don't take you seriously as a Christian. Possibly they are relatives, co-workers, or neighbors. Apply today's Scripture readings to your situation. "Venerate the Lord, that is, Christ, in your hearts. Should anyone ask you the reason for this hope of yours, be ever ready to reply, but speak gently and respectfully. Keep your conscience clear, so that, whenever you are defamed, those who libel your way of life in Christ may be shamed" (1 Pt 3:15-16). "Your teaching must have the integrity of serious, sound words to which no one can take exception. If it does, no opponent will be able to find anything bad to say about us, and hostility will yield to shame" (Ti 2:8). "Thus the word of God will not fall into disrepute" (Ti 2:5).
Prayer: Father, may we Christians merit respect as the early Christians did (Acts 4:33; 5:13).
Promise: "This Spirit He lavished on us through Jesus Christ our Savior." —Ti 3:6
Praise: St. Josaphat practiced charity in his work of educating and sanctifying laity and clergy.
Reference: (Men, you are being called to lead your families with faith into the world. But first retreat to a quiet place and be fed with Spirit-filled teachings at our Men's Retreat on Dec. 6. Call 937-587-5464 or 513-373-2397 for more information and to register.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 1, 2008
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