Respect

Very sadly, the concept of ‘respect’ seems to be coming an old fashioned one. And so, I hear a lot of people say things like ‘respect is something earned, not something given’, suggesting that one doesn’t need to show respect to someone unless they’ve done the right thing according to their own set of beliefs. But that is not what God usually says in the Bible. One verse I find very challenging at times is found in 1 Peter 2:17. We are told: Show proper resect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honour the emperor. Now, irrespective of whether there are three or four commands here, one must show honour or respect (the same Greek word is basically used here twice) to those that govern our country (e.g. an emperor). And where am I heading with this? Well, I am appalled at how people have been treating our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison – and I am appalled, not because he happens to be from the Shire and is a Sharks Supporter, but he is our emperor (Prime Minister). And so, we are to honour him – like him or not. And what should make it easy for us to honour him, is that he is a Christian! Yes, we are to submit ourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority (verse 13). Submitting to them and respecting them is what pleases him. I am fairly confident that what a lot of people have recently been saying about our Prime Minister has probably come from the lips of unbelievers, but it isn’t to come from our lips. And, as I’ve said in the beginning, I find this verse – this theme in God’s word – extremely challenging, as I naturally don’t want to show respect to those in our government, who I believe are on about the wrong things, yet at various times have been in power. Yes, show proper resect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God and honour our Prime Minister, May God help us to do so, And if we haven’t been doings so, we know what to do. In a word: repent.

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