In college I called my mom to complain about a professor that I had. I told her that the night class was project based and after the first round of presentations the girls had left the class in tears. I was disgusted! How rude! Why did she have to be so harsh? What my mom said next would change everything!
"Have you ever meant someone like this before?" I told her no, this was a first! "Good, you're going to learn something" was her shocking response. Then she proceeded to tell me to go to class early the next time and try to get to know the professor. I was stunned! Where was the pity and compassion that I expected to receive? Why didn't my mom feel sorry for me and tell me to drop the class? I hung up the phone trying to figure out what just happened!
For the next couple days I kept trying to figure out what to do. Deep inside I knew that my mom was right but I was hesitant! Would the professor really respond any differently one on one!? Monday night came and I was on my way to class thirty minutes early! When I got to the class the professor was at her desk, dressed in her power suit and no smile. I laid out my materials and pretended to work. I dared to break the silence and simply asked her how her day had been. By the time class started I felt like crying. Not for me but for my professor.
My professor taught at a local Christian school during the day and then went directly to the hospital where she stayed with her mom who was dying of cancer until she came to teach us. As the girls filed in for class my heart hurt. I knew that the students were coming in with bitterness in their hearts for the professor and that she had nothing left to give. I couldn't wait for class to be over!
After class I went to each of the girls to let them know that we could make a difference! We all decided to give love and compassion instead of waiting to receive it. We could give smiles, compliments and not be quick to take an offense. By the end of the semester we had a class party. We brought food, played games, laughed and our professor was right in the middle. Wearing jeans and a sweatshirt and the most beautiful smile!
My mom taught me to how to respond to people and to honor them! It is easy to gossip, walk away, not answer the phone, pretend to be busy, repay a snub with a snub, give minimal effort, and ignore those around us. She has spent countless hours on the phone listening to someone share their heart, opened her home to people needing a place to stay, made gourmet meals to be delivered often, and listened to the secrets of others with confidentiality. No matter who my mom is with she treats them with honor and respect!
Even though I wanted my mom to feel sorry for me so many years ago I am so glad she didn't. Learning something NEW was far more valuable. I understand what HONOR looks like!
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Romans 12:9,10 ESV