“Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.” 1 Peter 2:17
Sometimes I show disrespect for others without even knowing it.
Have you ever done that?
I show disrespect when I fail to fully listen to someone else and consider where they are coming from, their point of view. I show disrespect when I'm more concerned with what I want to say than truly caring about others and loving them. I show disrespect when I flippantly only see things my way and consider no other way than mine.
In the song, R-E-S-P-E-C-T, made popular by Aretha Franklin, she sings, “find out what it means to me.” In order to find out what respect means to someone else, we must first get outside of ourselves enough to really love and care about others.
While I am terribly ashamed to admit it, sometimes I fail to do this.
Showing respect for someone doesn't mean we will agree. It also doesn't mean that I need compromise anything I believe or anything that the Holy Bible teaches me. Quite the contrary, showing respect is the epitome of displaying God's love, His truth to others, and I have found they are much more interested in what I have to say when I show respect to them--simply because they are human beings created in God's image. Just. Like. Me.
But there is a difference between treating someone with respect, timēsate, which is to place a high value on simply because they are a valuable human life, and the kind of respect that is earned, bathmon, that is to have a high standing or be held in high regard. This kind of respect is something that is won.
There is a third kind of respect discussed in the Holy Bible, and that is phobeo which is the reverential fear and awe we have for God. This is also the type of respect a wife is to have for her husband, according to Scripture (Ephesians 5:33).
Are we finding out what it means to Him? To our Heavenly Father?
Something tells me, if we get it right there, with Him, the rest will fall into place.