2:13,14 “Submit yourselves to [the authority of] every human institution for the sake of the Lord [to honor His name], whether it is to a king as one in a position of power, or to governors as sent by him to bring punishment to those who do wrong, and to praise and encourage those who do right.”
1 Peter 2:13,14 (Amplified Bible)
From an early age these two words were instilled into many of us as we were strongly encouraged by our parents to show honor and respect to our parents, our grandparents and other neighborhood adults.
Later in life, honor and respect were reserved for teachers, coaches and police officers. And as you progress through life, you hope to receive both honor and respect from your teammates, coworkers … and eventually those you date.
It is similar to the admonition of the “Golden Rule.” We all desire it, and we all notably benefit from it; however, many rarely feel or experience honor or respect. But that doesn’t dismiss the fact that we should still try to give it!
Many take the belief that others must earn respect, and as a frailed human, I get that. But as a Christian, I am equally challenged by two things:
1.) God’s Word that states to honor those in authority -- no questions asked.
2.) God’s grace that doesn’t require that I earn anything -- no strings attached! He offered me mercy when I fully deserved something far worse.
Regardless if you’re of the belief that honor and respect must be earned, deserved, or has its various contingencies attached, I challenge you to lean into today’s Bible passage and be open to a change in perspective. Even if honor and respect aren’t openly reciprocated, you can lovingly honor God by offering it freely to others.
Now I understand that some may have been abused by those in power in the past. Or you may be in a dangerous selfish relationship that is simply unloving. For those, please love yourself enough NOT to be in those situations, and get help if needed.
For others, please love humanity enough to exhibit honor and respect in your daily relationships.
Reflect: Make a list of three (3) ways you can tangibly honor and respect others.
Athlete, you are worthy of respect, continue offering it to others, and continue honoring God as a result.