During August, we’re talking about respect—showing others they are important by what you say and do. Honestly, it’s easy to respect a flawed painting when you value the person who made it. But when it comes to respecting people, it gets a bit messier.
This month our memory verse comes from 1 Peter 2:17. It just says, “Show proper respect to everyone.” (NIV) Pretty simple.
But really, it’s not simple, is it? I mean … Respect. Everyone?
If a painting has a few flaws, those are pretty easy to overlook. But people will do and say things that frustrate, anger or hurt us. People—especially those who have some level of authority—may ask us to do something we don’t want to do, or even worse, they may tell us not to do something we really want to do.
In fact, if you think about people only in terms of how they cooperate with what you want, it’s pretty much impossible to show respect. But if we stop and look at people with the knowledge that God made them, then we see things very differently. Suddenly, we can realize two incredible ideas.
First, that God made them.
Second, that God put them exactly where He wants them to be.
Unfortunately, knowing those two things doesn’t make respect any easier. It doesn’t mean that we will agree with everything our boss says. It doesn’t even mean that we submit in every situation—especially if it goes against God.
What it does mean is that we can respect those who have temporary authority in this life, because we know the One who has the ultimate authority, and we trust in Him.
Thankfully, the Bible incudes stories and principles that can help encourage us as we seek to show respect to everyone in our lives.