Proper Respect

Have you ever wondered where the term, “Give props” originated? So have I. However, a simple Google search wasn’t able to turn up an origination, so I had to settle with the mere definition. To ‘give props’ means to ‘give proper respect’. Hence, the meat of what follows…

In my short, but eventful life, I’ve been the fortunate recipient of many life lessons… some of which have been enjoyable, and some that have been trying… all of which have shaped me into who I am.

Unlike some people, I suppose, I am proud of who I am. Not in a haughty or conceited way, but in a humble and self-respecting way. I have done things that I later was ashamed of, and things that I was proud of, but all of these things have crafted… me.

Just as there are events in life that shape us, there are also influences that come in the form of people. And just as events in life can be both enjoyable and trying, people are not really any different. I’ve met my good ones, and I’ve met my ‘rotten apples’… but still, each of them have shaped me into who I am. And, for better or for worse, I am thankful for each one. They have either become part of me, or become a good example of what I don’t want to be. So each influence in my life has been welcome and appreciated.

There are, however, some events and some people who stand out from the normal sphere of _for-better-or-for-worse_ influence that deserve a greater regard… a higher commendation… props, if you will.

I remember an English teacher of mine in High School named Mr. McBride, who saw something in me that I didn’t. He saw above-average while I saw mediocre. He saw excellence where I saw, “good enough”. He pressed me and drove me, angered me and prodded me. With passion, he tried to draw out of me something that he knew was there. Perhaps he was living part of himself through the accomplishments that I would make… taking pride in pulling someone out of mediocrity to excellence. I don’t know that I’ve ever attained to the level that Mr. McBride saw in me, but I do know this… I am much the better for his efforts. I may not have seen it at the time… in fact I know I didn’t… but on the other side of this road, I can see it clearly now. Proper respect belongs to that man. A life-changer.

Life is blessed, occasionally, with those who are willing to be more than just a casual influence in someone’s life… to affect someone so profoundly that their life is changed for the better. Those are the heros in my mind. The life-changers.

So, to all those in my life who have been, or will become, a life changer… and to all those in someone else’s life who strive to be a catalyst of change… my props go to you.

You know who you are, because it doesn’t come by accident. It is purposeful, and meaningful. And I thank you for you.

Author: Jay Jones

Jay is an author, veteran church planter, speaker, and the pastor of the Pentecostals of Kentwood. He's a passionate worshipper of Jesus Christ, a husband, daddy, pastor, and a ‘pretty good guy’. Jay is also an ordained minister of the United Pentecostal Church, where he currently serves as a Presbyter in West Michigan.

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