With All Due Respect

Last week we briefly covered the Biblical instruction to respect the government. I know it’s easier said than done, especially with some administrations over others. Regardless, it’s a command from God. In fact, here’s a verse we referenced last week: 1 Peter 3:17, “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” We made the point about honoring “the emperor,” but now I’d like to direct your attention to the very first sentence: “Honor everyone.” 

Truth be told, respect for our government isn’t just dwindling – our respect for all mankind is too. Don’t believe me? Get online and sign-up for a Twitter account. I could never imagine hearing the amount of insulting and derogatory language in-person that I see online. It’s repulsive and a sad barometer of our world today.

That being said, we can hear some pretty disrespectful things in-person too. Have you ever seen someone belittle a checkout clerk or a server at a restaurant? When’s the last time you clearly heard someone cussing – with no care for you, children, or anyone? When’s the last time you heard or even passed on some gossip? Paul writes in Colossians 4:6, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” When we’re careful with our words, that’s showing honor to everyone. 

Honoring everyone, being respectful to everyone, is also done by action. Do we live by the “Golden Rule” of Jesus and treat others as we’d like to be treated (Matthew 7:12)? Would any of us want to be treated dishonorably? Disrespectfully? Not hardly. 

Let’s hold the door for each other. Let’s look each other in the eye and genuinely listen when we ask someone “How are you?” Let’s consider how we can be of help to others and not just for ourselves. Let’s think before we speak and then speak kindly. That’s a life that’s honorable. That’s the kind of life Jesus lived (Philippians 2:1-11). You can’t get more honorable than that – but we need to try to match it (Philippians 2:5).

With all due respect,