“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:28
Dignity is not the same as respect.
Dignity is something we are born with, it is our inherent value and worth.
That is why the themes for May are dignity and respect – because they work together, but are not actually interchangeable.
It is easy to see this when a child is born – we use words like priceless, invaluable, irreplaceable. And we give them our utmost care and attention.
Unfortunately, we are also born vulnerable to having our dignity being violated.
So, dignity should then be the baseline for our interactions – people don’t have to do anything to deserve dignity, it is inherent. Treating people with dignity is to accept who they are, their full identity, to ensure they feel safe, and to recognize and acknowledge their journey to where they are today.
By coupling dignity and respect, we take it a step further. Not only do we treat those who access our services acknowledging their inherent value, we also respect their journey and choices, working with them to create case plans and goals together.
It’s not always easy – it takes intentional effort to be conscious of what it means to treat people with dignity and respect. Let’s choose to treat everyone with dignity and respect as we strive to be “The Hand of God, in the Heart of the City.”
Loving God, Creator of dignity and all that lives,
Help us be bridges.
Help us cry out for respect and value for all
When society forgets that at in our most basic nature,
We are all God’s children.