I found it rather interesting that on my Dad’s birthday I had reached to First Peter in my New Testament reading. For how many times in a row, I don’t know!
My Dad’s name is Per, a Swedish variation for Petrus (Peter). In Spanish: Pedro. So I spent my devotional time yesterday and today with Peter. And as it is with reading God’s Word it’s always new. One thing I hadn’t paid attention to before is the Apostle Peter’s take on respect.
I take respect seriously and it bothers me when people are disrespectful. One thing I hate is when someone comes to my house and walks right in without bothering to say a greeting. I’ve been told it’s a cultural thing, that it bothers me because of growing up in a culture where something like that is important.
When I lived with my grandchildren I would start out every day by saying “Good Morning!” and I expected them to do the same thing. It’s one simple way to show respect. When we said grace at the table, their dad would say, “Be respectful!”
Four times, in his first epistle, Peter exhorted his readers to be respectful, and those four exhortations encompass everything.
1. SHOW RESPECT TO EVERYONE (2:17)
Show proper respect to everyone:
- Love the brotherhood of believers
- Fear God
- Honor the king
This sais it all! Everyone means everyone—no one excluded.
2. SHOW RESPECT IN YOUR WORKPLACE (2:18)
Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.
Translate “slaves” to employees. Be respectful in your workplace. And for employers: Treat your employees with respect.
3. SHOW RESPECT IN THE HOME (3:7)
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
When the head of the household treats the “queen” with respect, the little one will learn it by following his example. My Dad—Per/Peter—always treated my Mom with the greatest respect. I respect that!
4. SHOW RESPECT ABOUT YOUR FAITH (3:15,16)
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
Let’s be respectful in the way we share our faith and honor God in everything we do.
When you come to my house, I hope you will greet me as you come in and bless me as you leave. And I hope to do the same thing when I visit you!
This is what Jesus said: “Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you” (Matthew 10:11-13).
Let’s honor each other by showing respect!