Grace + | Day 8

Show Respect to Everyone

Read 1 Peter 2:13–17 

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
In this section of Peter’s letter, he is concerned about the impression Christians make on the people around them. Do they do good to all people? Are they enslaved to anything other than Christ? Would you know they follow Jesus? Do they respect everyone always? Do they honor their leaders and those in authority? We are living in a divisive, polarizing culture and time. But Peter’s instructions are just as applicable today as they were in the first century. 

  • As you read through the list of ways Christians should live in the world so that they make good impressions on non-believers, where do you sense you need work? Is there an area of your life in which you feel enslaved; a current issue that gives rise to a divisive spirit in you; or a person or people group to whom you don’t show respect? What is a next step you can take in whatever area you’ve identified? What does God need to transform in you?
  • We often don’t see ourselves clearly. Consider asking a trusted friend or your spouse whether there are ways you come off to those with whom you interact that don’t leave a good impression. What do you think they’d say? 
  • What is God seeking to draw your attention to through today’s passage?

God, thank You for the clarity of Peter’s instructions. My heart’s desire is to make a good impression so that people will be drawn to You through me. But, I fail over and over because of my own weakness or even just stubbornness. Remind me that every person has been made in Your image and deserves respect. In those areas in which I am particularly weak, help me. I want to be a light that shows people Your love, respect, and goodness. Amen.

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