Who Respects You Most?

The message at church yesterday left an impression on me because of the simple question it asked.

Who respects you the most?

There are two options:

Those who know you best, respect you the most. And those who know you least, respect you the least.

or

Those who know you best, respect you the least. And those who know you least, respect you the most.

In short, would you rather be respected by those closest to you? Or those furthest away?

Too often, we want to impress those further away from us. Here are some examples:

  • We want to make a big splash on social media, but in a way that turns off those who know us in real life.
  • We go the extra mile for colleagues or bosses but put in minimum effort at home with our parents or spouse and kids.
  • We obsess about how to impress friends, while clearly disregarding family members.

It’s always an awkward thing when people gush praises about someone you know well, and you can’t agree because you know that it is only a front and not the complete story.

These people mean more to me than my entire social network.

These people mean more to me than my entire social network.

I’m thankful that no matter what people said in praise of my dad, I always knew that what they said was accurate. In fact, they probably didn’t even know the rest of it. And there was so much more to honor him for.

When I was around 14 years old, he preached and gave a story from our home that wasn’t misleading or deceptive, but was a blatant exaggeration. I asked him about it during the week, because what he said didn’t match with what really happened. Then he did something I’ll never forget.

The next Sunday, at the beginning of his preaching, he got up and apologized to everyone at church for exaggerating. He explained what really happened and exactly where he added to the story. Then he gave his message. 

I don’t know what everyone else thought about him that day. But I realized then that he would rather lose face in front of the whole church than lose the respect of his family. 

So again, would you rather be respected by those who barely know you? Or by those who really know you?

  • Your Twitter followers don’t really know you. Your family does.
  • Your barkada is fun to be with. But they can’t replace your parents.
  • Your coworkers aren’t as committed to you as your spouse and kids.

 

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