“Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.” 1 Peter 2:17
If you’re old enough that you’ve heard Aretha Franklin sing, you‘ve heard her song, R-E-S-P-E-C-T. In fact, almost everyone recognizes this song.
What we may not recognize is our own LACK of respect... for everyone from our spouse and children to our parents and bosses to... (gulp) our neighbors and local authorities and yes, even the president. No worries, this is NOT a political post.
It’s a spiritual post. Because lack of respect is a spiritual matter.
Why don’t we respect certain people?
Maybe we don’t agree with their views or their way of life.
Maybe they’re immoral or disobedient to God or the law.
We think we are right and they are oh-so-wrong.
We think we are better or smarter or less sinful.
So what does Jesus say about that?
Let‘s look at John 8:7 where a crowd threatened to stone a sinful woman.
“They kept demanding an answer, so he (Jesus) stood up again and said, ‘All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!’” John 8:7
And they all walked away. Wow.
Jesus assured them that none of us are perfect.
Like that crowd, we need to recognize our own sin.
We’ve all disrespected someone, and it really is a spiritual matter.
Disrespecting someone is putting ourselves above that person.
Therefore, the root cause of disrespect is pride.
If we refuse to confess and claim we have no sin, that is pride.
If we reject our Savior and think we don’t need God, that is pride.
If we think God‘s ways are wrong and we know better than God, that is pride.
Here‘s an interesting thing about pride, about putting ourselves above others.
Pride ends up defeating us.
”Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18
Respect and honor for others - even those we disagree with - obeys God and proves wise.
Lets show basic human respect for those who hold different views than us. Let’s listen before we criticize. Let’s recognize that most people are trying to do the right thing, however misguided that may seem to us. Chances are, our views may appear misguided to them!
Lets be godly, gentle people who respect everyone created by God in his image.
”Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.” Proverbs 19:11
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