Honor everyone. Love the brothers and sisters. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (1 Peter 2:17)
Pastor John’s Notes:
Peter’s simple command to “honor everyone” enables us to recognize that every human being is made in the image of God, and therefore, everyone is worthy of respect. American society has become polarized because we are engaged in a culture war. Two different versions of what American society should look like are attempting to occupy the same space. People at the poles of each side rage against those on the other side. Hatred has become the norm and people treat each other terribly. The ways of the world are not to be our ways. Jesus Christ has come to show us a different way.
Jesus Christ came into the world out of God’s love for all humanity. He showed respect toward everyone he encountered. He saw through all of the petty human categories we assign to each other. He showed respect toward his friends and enemies alike. Even on the cross, he said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
There is a work we must do in our world today. We must foster respect for every human being, even those with whom we disagree. We also need to look past human categorization and see every person as one for whom Jesus Christ gave his life. We must stop the hatred and gossip that divides us and show love toward everyone we encounter.
Lord, teach me to honor everyone, even those whom I find difficult to love. Let me see every person as being made in the image of God, and therefore worthy of respect. Remind me that you surrendered your life on the cross out of your love for all humanity, and if every person is worthy of your love, then every person is worthy of my love as well. Help me stand against the current of hatred that is flowing through our culture. Let me create an atmosphere of love and grace wherever I go.