On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter. Esther 5:1-2
In modern times, Esther’s entrance might have looked more like this: “Are you out of your mind, Xerxes? Don’t you understand that if you kill all of the Jewish people, that you’re also killing me. Maybe rather than hiding behind your servants, you could walk out of this palace gate and see what’s going on for yourself. But, you’ve surrounded yourself with a bunch of yes men and you just do whatever they tell you to do. King, my foot. You’re no Nebucchadnezzar old boy…” But, Esther was wiser than that. After all, Queen Vashti didn’t leave a forwarding address.
There is a place to speak our minds, but I believe that Jerry Springer’s show is no longer on the air. Before we release a head of steam, we have to think about the effect that we will have. No one is motivated by scolding. No one wants to hear how terrible they are. Most of us are already fully aware of our weaknesses. When we treat others disrespectfully, we treat them as less than human. They are no longer a person to reason with. We have lowered them to a mammal that must obey. No wonder they bite back.
There was much at stake in Esther’s appearance in the throne room. If she didn’t handle herself correctly, her cause and her life would end. While most of us are not threatened with death in how we handle conflict or disputes, sometimes our actions will put to death communication and any chance at resolving an issue. Even if the other person seems to be unreasonable that doesn’t give us license to jump off the cliff with them.
Showing respect will go a long way in receiving favor from another person. The days of name calling and ridicule should have stopped in elementary school. If you were the other person, which you could never imagine, how would you want to be treated? Why do they do what they do? What is their motive? What is their heart?
Don’t let your misbehavior become the issue. Let the issue be the issue, and approach the other person with respect.
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