As I was reading through 1 Peter, I came across a short two-word sentence at the beginning of chapter 2 verse 17 that stopped me in my tracks…
1 Pet 2:17 Honor everyone.
Honor everyone, period. Not honor everyone who is a christian. Not honor every one of your own race, gender, ethnicity, religion, age, perceived sexual orientation, criminal record,…or any other perceived difference of opinion or background you could come up with. Honor EVERYONE.
It is so easy, when we disagree with someone, to lash out at them with our words and look down at them from some imaginary higher moral plane of existence. It is so easy to forget that from God’s perspective we are all, every one of us, sinful to the core and in desperate need of forgiveness. In essence, none of us are any better off than any other and we need, instead, to look with compassion at each other as we mutually deal with our individual struggles with sin. We need to be open and honest and willing to accept instruction and, combining that with diligent meditation in God’s word, allow God to work in and through us for His glory and our good.
I am not saying that we should honor sin that we perceive in someone else’s life, or that we should ignore something that we know is directly opposed to what God tells us in his word. But when approaching people with issues that we observe in their lives, it is important to do so in a loving, God honoring way. It is important to treat everyone with the honor and respect that we would hope they would give us should the roles be reversed.
To not honor everyone, itself is a sin, is displeasing to our holy and righteous God, and demands our confession and repentance.
But it is also true that God is faithful, and just, and willing to forgive us our sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Honor everyone and never forget the depravity of our own souls. Praise God today and everyday and live for his glory!