1 Peter 2:17
Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
My dad taught us kids a lot but one high priority of his was honesty and respect. You just simply did not lie. I learned this at a young age. True story-I wasn’t happy with my dad’s response about something when I was about five years old. As I walked away while he read the paper, I stuck my tongue out at him. Well, I underestimated my dad’s peripheral vision! He saw it and calmly asked what I did. My response? “I was licking the wall”. Really? Is that the best I could come up with? Anyway, I got in trouble and learned at a young age, dishonesty and disrespect would not be tolerated.
I tend to gravitate to blunt people. I appreciate people that are straight shooters. Tell it like it is. No sugar coating. Several of my friends have this type of personality. However, they are respectful. Not tearing anyone down, just honest in love. I like that. But, I think some people think they are being honest however, their tone and message is condescending. Jesus spoke honestly from the heart, always did so in love and to build others up. We had to work on this with one of our kids. He definitely had the honest and blunt part, but not the respect part. Especially when talking to his siblings at times. Like it says in Ephesians 4:15, …we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. Christ is absolutely honest, but delivered his messages on earth in love and with respect. And our goal should be to be more like Him.
In the key verse above, it clearly says to show respect to everyone. Not just to those who share your views. Not just to those who share your political party. Not just to those who share your race, sex, church affiliation, financial status, etc. I have news for you. You and I are no more important to God than anyone else on this planet. And, how will we show others the love of God, if we show disrespect? No one enjoys feeling unworthy of love and respect. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 reads, Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. A little love and respect goes a long way!
And that ‘honor the emperor’ part…that means we are to respect, support and pray for our leaders. Yes, here in the U.S. we are quickly approaching our National election for the presidency. Whatever your opinion, guess what? God is not shaken, He is not surprised and His will shall be done! When I get concerned about the direction of this country, I remind myself, this universe is His, made by Him, controlled by Him. Yes, we should pray. Yes, we should ask God to turn our country and it’s people back to Him and honesty and respect for all. And then have faith that He will.
So, when you see a fellow student sitting alone at a lunch table, invite him to sit with you. Let’s start ‘seeing’ people. Really be aware of those around you and reach out. No one benefits from feeling invisible. If the elderly lady in front of you at the check out line is short on money, pay for her groceries. Some elderly struggle with such deep loneliness and isolation and feel so forgotten. Pay your husband or wife a nice compliment that affirms them. Wouldn’t that be powerful in a marriage relationship? Instead of criticizing him for what he doesn’t do around the house or put her down for the laundry not being done.
Fearing God is respecting him and following his commands. Let’s all change our mind set. Let’s take the step to show respect and love to everyone! Maybe, just maybe, we could turn this world around.
Dear Father God, We ask your forgiveness. We all have sinned and fallen short of Your glory. Yet, You are faithful and just to forgive. Help us to open our eyes to our fellow mankind and see them through Your eyes with love and respect. In Your name, Amen