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Every Person Is Worthy of Respect – Rick Warren

“Show proper respect to everyone.”

1 Peter 2:17 (NIV)

Respect has become an endangered value over the past few decades.
Yet the Bible makes it clear that stable families—and stable societies—are built around respect. The Bible commands us to honor our parents, respect civil authority, and respect church leaders. Wives are called to respect husbands in Ephesians. In the book of 1 Peter, husbands are called to respect wives. Just to make it clear that God leaves no one out, the Bible also tells us to “show proper respect to everyone” (1 Peter 2:17 NIV).

Everyone, regardless of beliefs or behaviors, is worthy of respect.

Why?

  1. God made everyone. Psalm 8:5 says, “You [God] made them inferior only to yourself; you crowned them with glory and honor” (GNT). God doesn’t make junk. No one is worthless. People make wrong decisions, but they are still valuable to God. Even the most unlovable person in the world is loved by God.
  2. Jesus died for everyone. The Bible says, “God paid a ransom to save you . . . he paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19 TLB). You may not place much value in certain people, but God does. In fact, he says every person you meet is worth dying for.
  3. It shows you know God. The Bible tells us that God is love. If you know God, you’ll fill your life with love. The Bible says, “If a person isn’t loving and kind, it shows that he doesn’t know God—for God is love” (1 John 4:8 TLB). Love always treats people with respect.
  4. You’ll get back whatever you give out. It’s the law of the harvest. Whatever goes around comes around. If you want to be respected, treat other people with respect. The Bible says, “A man’s harvest in life will depend entirely on what he sows” (Galatians 6:7 PHILLIPS).

By learning to love each other, we become “eager to show respect for one another” (Romans 12:10 GNB).

Talk It Over

Every person you meet today is worthy of your respect. How will that truth change your behavior?
Why do you have trouble showing respect to some individuals?
What are some ways you can “fill your life with love”?

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