Respect : high or special regard : esteem
Honor all men; love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
1 Peter 2:17
Some Bible versions say honor, other translations say respect, but the underlining meaning holds the same, it is intended to place value on another human being. People we naturally respect may range from God to a family member, perhaps someone in an authority position. I admire when people show respect to others because it is just as much an earned privilege as it is a choice from the one extending this gracious offer. I feel there are those who earned respect due to noteworthy characteristics and then there are those times we show respect to another because it is the honorable thing to do, whether they deserve respect or not.
Those who have earned respect
Those that have earned our respect are easy to distinguish; they are admirable and carry traits most of us desire. How can we reciprocate this respect to those who have earned it?
God the Creator of the universe
- Don’t say God’s name in vain; speak reverently (Ex 20:7)
- Be thankful when God blesses you (James 1:17)
- Obey the truths in the Word of God (John 14:15)
People who serve our Country
- Say thank you
- Honor their requests if it is in your ability to do so
- Look for ways you can serve them in return
- Listen when they open up to you
Friends or Family member
- Reciprocate the kindness
- Listen when they speak to you
- Look for ways to help out (Luke 22:27)
- Keep in mind things that they appreciate (i.e being on time, etc)
One family member I respect is my dad. I don’t base my respect on perfection because that title is reserved only for God. My respect is based on what he achieves most of the time and what he strives for.
I just traveled home for Thanksgiving and was reminded of the things I respect my dad for.
- Openly talked about God and encouraged others
- Showed restraint and forgave quickly
- Laughed heartedly
- Joyfully helped others
- Walking downstairs at 5 in the morning to dad reading his Bible
I am glad I have my dad to look up to and be reminded that the Bible isn’t just words on a page of unattainable obligations, but words filled with hope to breath victory into each persons life.
Yet, although there are certain people that are easy to honor and show respect, there also are those that are not.
Perhaps there are those in an authority position over you that are anything but cordial, but, due to your position, you are required to show respect to them or negative consequences will ensue. Yet, even beyond that, God calls us to honor all men. Many times this can only be done with God’s strength. What does this look like?
- Extending grace and kindness to the undeserved. If they ask for space or ask something that would accommodate them, listen and try to honor those words.
- Turn the other cheek. Even if they do something negative to you, you don’t have to reciprocate.
Showing respect is a choice
Nobody is perfect, so even though it doesn’t always seem validated to show respect to certain people it is the right thing to do, because the respect we show others is ultimately a respect towards God. Seeing the value in others because God sees them as valuable.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Peter is faced with soldiers trying to take away his King. He tries to take matters into his own hands and cuts off a guards ear. Jesus rebuked him and healed the guards ear. Even while Jesus was being arrested to be executed he wanted his disciples to show respect.
Showing respect to all men requires restraint and self discipline. It’s a humbling process withholding the negative response a lot of people deserve and instead showing grace and kindness. By reminding ourselves that showing respect to others is really showing respect to God will help keep our priorities in check for this sometimes difficult task.
Photo Credit: by Splitshire