I heard a comment yesterday that I have come to have a dim view of. “They will have to earn my respect.” You can also substitute “trust” for “respect” and I have the same dim view of what that means.
Respect and trust is given, not earned. We have developed this notion that we have to earn respect/trust/money/salvation but God has showed time and time again these things are given.
If respect and the rest are to be earned, what is the standard? The answer is whatever each individual wants the standard to be and all that does is put each individual in the position of being judge and jury. However, if respect and the rest are to be given, what is the standard? Simply to give.
The guy I work for can quit paying me at any time he wants. There is nothing I do to earn my position, my status or my salary. Sure, he may have given me those things because of what I have done but he chooses to give. I think I have worked hard enough to earn a bazillion dollars but he chooses what to give me. There is a parable in the Bible that tells a story similar to what I’m saying. One guy worked all day, another just a short time and they both got paid the same. The owner of the field is the decider of what to give.
I have been guilty of being the judge on what someone needs to do to earn my trust and respect. I hope going forward I will simply accept people as children of God, even when they hurt me in their actions, knowing that there is nothing I can do to earn my forgiveness or to earn my salvation. It was given to me freely. Why should I give less?
Grace and peace to you.