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Summary:

1. The Holy Spirit can help us build mutual respect for each other when we trust Him to help us focus on one another’s strengths rather than weaknesses. God has given each person special strengths, abilities, and gifts which are unique to that individual. Rather than focusing your attention on what someone else lacks, trust the Lord to help you highlight their God given positive qualities. Paul wrote, "Think about things that are pure and lovely, dwell on the fine and good things in others, think about all the things you have to praise God for and be glad about." (Phil. 4:8 - Phillips) Ask the Lord to help you make a choice to speak to one another about their positive strengths rather than the things that might irritate you.

2. The Holy Spirit can help us build respect when we seek reconciliation with anyone in our fellowship who refuses to communicate in love. Jesus said, "If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift." (Matt. 5:23) Ask the Lord for the grace to initiate reconciliation with those you have a grievance with, feel resentment toward or are bitter against.

3. The Holy Spirit can help us build respect when we are willing to invite people who have a grievance against us to come and resolve the issue. Solomon wrote, "Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; Rebuke a wise man and he will love you." (Proverbs 9:8) Ask the Lord to help you to remain humble enough to accept rebukes and become wiser.

4. The Holy Spirit can help us build respect when we are willing to consider other opinions as valuable and worthy of applications. Paul wrote, "Do nothing from factional motives (through contentiousness, strife, selfishness or for unworthy ends) or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself (thinking more highly of one another than you do our yourselves). (Phil. 2:3) Ask the Lord for the humility, wisdom and teachability to value one another’s opinions, ideas and feelings.

5. The Holy Spirit can help you build respect when we make it know that we will not manipulate others. Ask the Lord for a more gracious attitude to serve one another as Christ would minister to them. Resist any temptation to use people, coerce people or try to manipulate people for your own selfish interests.

6. The Holy Spirit can help you build respect when you make it known that you will not be manipulated. Ask the Lord for the courage to stand up to abusers of their power or critics, or manipulators. Paul refused to be manipulated by the Galatians, the Pharisees and the powerful men of his day with Christ’s courage.

7. The Holy Spirit can help you build respect by excelling in your relationships and ministries. Peter, James and John were respected because of their excellent rapport with others and their effective ministry skills. Dr. Luke wrote, "Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled because they had been with Jesus." (Acts 4:13) Ask God for help to excel in your relationships and ministries with the power of the Spirit.

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