The Respect Mandate

“Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed” (Romans 13:7).

The Bible makes it clear that God created man in His own image, and the Christian in particular has the obligation to reflect that image in all of life (Genesis 1:26; Ephesians 4:24). In all of our interactions with others, we must remember this truth: God created man in His own image. When we recall this, we will not treat people with contempt and disrespect. We will treat them with dignity and respect. They, after all, have been created in God’s own image.

How can we treat people with respect?

1. By showing no favoritism.
In the Christian church, for example, God frowns on showing distinctions in the Christian body. Church leaders should not favor the rich over the poor:

“My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory” (James 2:1).

When we show partiality, we dishonor the Lord. While we recognize various gifts God has given the church, we must not suppose one gift or rank superior to another.

2. By using godly language.
The Bible makes clear we can get our point across while using godly language:

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).

When we speak with others, we should use edifying words that build up, and not tear down (Ephesians 4:29). We promote good communication and demonstrate respect when we speak kindly to others and give them a fair hearing.

3. By serving them.
Of course, we serve God first and foremost. But God reminds us to serve one another:

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13).

Key point: When addressing another person, remember that they were created in God’s image and, therefore, we need to demonstrate respect. We demonstrate respect in order to glorify God.

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Brett Dunne wrote:
This hit home for me today. "Another person", can be a co worker, your supervisor, sibling, friend, spouse or child. Even when we disagree with someone, we can be Godly about it....let them see Jesus in us.

Wed, September 28, 2016 @ 6:20 AM

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