Greetings and good morning brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series
where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years,
the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them
with you. This morning we seek to understand the value of self respect.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Value of Self Respect
"As it is written, the just shall live by faith." Romans, Chapter 1, Verse 17.
Brothers and sisters, the surest and quickest way to gain true self respect is to faith-enter the
Kingdom of Heaven. In the Kingdom of heaven there is to be found the perfect model of self respect,
which is Jesus' Spirit of Truth. In the Kingdom of heaven, we find deliverance from the soul-
destroying consequence of the loss of self respect, which results in a paralysis of the will and the
magnification of importance by some due to pride, conceit, and arrogance. The teaching that God
is our Father and we are his children is the greatest truth that we can know and is designed to restore
self respect to those who have lost it, and to restrain it in those who have it. In the Kingdom of
heaven, the Spirit of Truth will stop at nothing until the self respect of those who have lost it--and
who really desire to regain it--have been restored. Self respect is vital to all brothers and sisters who
function in the Kingdom of Heaven.
We know that "Every good gift and every perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights." So if
self respect is a good and perfect gift--and we maintain that it is--then the heavenly Father is the
source of self respect. Self respect is imparted to us when our souls are created by the Father's spirit.
This self respect is derived from our relationship with the heavenly Father. Since the heavenly Father
is the source of self respect, He must also have self respect as well. And since the heavenly Father
has self respect, this becomes an eternal value, is the basis for how we view ourselves, and is
ultimately determines the conduct that we pursue. The supreme demonstration of self respect allows
us to comply with the command to love the Lord God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our
mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
From the point of view of experience, self respect is a matter of realizing our value as individuals.
This leads to the recognition of the self respect which the heavenly Father has given us. This self
respect becomes the arbitrator of our conduct and the source of true morality. Recognizing the high
value which the Father places upon each of us, an infinite, an eternal value of love, we can begin to
sense how the Father must view us. And even if we do not yet have the insight to see it for ourselves,
understanding the value that he places upon us should stir our faith to grasp this profound self respect
that is our by birthright. We don't have to earn it, anymore than we have to earn our position as sons
and daughters of our heavenly Father. All we have to do is accept it.
When we sincerely accept our divine birthright, we move to a new standard of conduct and attitudes.
We begin to share the Father's viewpoint not only of ourselves but of other selves. When this self
respect is truly recognized, we also recognize our true function on this level. As faith sons and
daughters of the Father, it is not only our duty but our joyous privilege to represent Him to others.
And most of us begin to see that we must reject wrong teachings about who we are. Some of this
teaching has been imparted to us by our parents or by other significant others whom we value. This
distorted teaching was the result of them failing to recognize their true values. This in actuality is
failure to faith-enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The failure can also be due to persistent attempts to
conceptualize the Kingdom of Heaven in nonspiritual images, rather than the heavenly Father's
image. The Kingdom of Heaven is a spiritual brotherhood based on worship of the heavenly Father
and loving merciful service to our brothers and sisters. And all who worship the heavenly Father and
provide loving and merciful service to others unselfishly are filled with self respect. They need no
book or mentor to tell them this because they know it is true in the very core of their being. "They
know what they know." The presence of the divine spirit is self respect.
We have implied much about conduct and self respect, but now we wish to state emphatically that
evil conduct is the result of the lack of self respect. This kind of conduct characterized and
recognized by others as showing lack of self respect is the failure to fully integrate the self with the
Father's will, and so the result is conduct that is not reflective of the Father's character. We begin to
see that evil conduct is the result of not aligning the functions of the self with the Father's spirit, of
not subjecting every aspect of our moral and spiritual lives to the Fathers' will. The loss of self
respect creates such a disturbing imbalance in the life of the loser that he is immediately launched
upon the sea of low self esteem, riding in the boat of other desires, trying vainly to be accepted and
loved. This boat sails far from the safe harbor of the Father's refuge. And if the sailor does not return
to safe harbor, he is doomed.
Then there are those who are so egotistical, their sense of self respect being derived from their own
exaggerated sense of self importance and self righteousness, that they enter the domains of pride and
arrogance, riding long and hard on the back of the horse of self conceit and self deceit. The cure for
the loss of self respect and unrestrained self respect is the wholehearted decision to do the Father's
will. This decision immediately restores the consciousness of self respect, as the self begins to bathe
in the sunshine of the Father's goodness. Such a one realizes gradually his birthright and realizes who
he really is. Eventually he does not hesitate to declare that he and the Father are one. Such a one has
a superb sense of self respect in his life. He does not pursue the false shadows of evil by trying to
satisfy spiritual needs that can only be satisfied by the wholehearted worship of the heavenly Father's
ideals. It is the love of the heavenly Father that makes real the sense of self respect.
This concludes today's message on understanding the value of self respect. We hope you find
something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.