Respect is under assault. We see less respect and more disrespect, but this is not what the Bible teaches us to do. We see it in the home, in business, in government–you name it. Do you have a problem with this? Join us as Robert reveals what the Bible says about how to respect others.

ROBERT >> We live in a very rude world. And unfortunately, people are becoming ruder by the minute. Common courtesy isn’t so common anymore. It seems that respect for people is at an all-time low. Our favorite kind of humor today is sarcasm, put-down humor. And our favorite targets are often those in authority, those in leadership, those who should be respected if for no other reason than because of their position. Another problem of the heart is this problem of disrespect.

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> Today as we continue to talk about Problems Of The Heart, we want to take a close look at this problem of disrespect and who it is that we are to show respect towards. In 1 Peter chapter 2 and verse 17 we see the apostle Peter encourage respect for all people. Here the Bible says, Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. The emphasis in this passage is on God and upon those in authority like the king. But you see here that our respect is to be shown to all people.

There are times when we show respect to people for whatever reason, sometimes for our own gain or it’s something that would profit us; but the Bible teaches us to always be respectful to everyone. We need to be respectful to those in the government.

Look what the Bible says in Romans chapter 13 and verses 1 through 7. Romans chapter 13, beginning in verse 1, “let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.”

Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor. So yes, we must be subject to governing authorities. Some of you might say, but look at our government. Look what they’re doing.

Why should we be in subjection to them?

But did you know that when Paul wrote these words to the Christians of the first century, they were being ruled by the Roman empire?

It was certainly not a godly government. It was a society full of idolatry, of injustice and all kinds of perversion; and yet Paul told them to be in subjection to the governing authorities. And so must we today. Whatever our government, we need to recognize the authority that is there.

This is not only true in regards to the government, but it’s also true in the home.

Look with me if you will in Proverbs chapter 23 and verse 22. Here the Bible says, “Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old.”

Children, listen to your father. Listen to your mother. Your parents brought you into this world, and they’re responsible to take care of you and to raise you up, and so we need to show them respect.

This is brought out in so many other passages, like Proverbs chapter 30 and verse 17, where the Bible says, “The eye that mocks his father and scorns obedience to his mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it.”

That’s quite a disgusting picture, but it reminds us of the importance of listening to our parents, of obeying those who are in authority over us in the home.

In Ephesians chapter 5 and verse 21 and following we see where the wife is to be in subjection to her husband and where the husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church and where the children are to obey their parents in the Lord and to honor their Father and their mother and where the fathers are not to provoke their children to wrath, but nurture them in the chastening and the admonition of the Lord. Even the relationship of slave and master is discussed there in Ephesians chapter 6 and verse 5 and following, showing that the slave is to submit to his master and how the master is to treat his slave like he would want to be treated. In all of these relationships God is calling for respect for one another.

In Colossians chapter 3, 18 through chapter 4 and verse 1 we see the same kind of thing discussed. But now I want you especially to notice Hebrews chapter 12, verse 9 and verse 10. The Hebrew writer emphasizes too the importance of the relationships in the home and how that we need to respect one another in the home.

In Hebrews chapter 12, verse 9 and verse 10, here’s what the Bible says: “Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them; but He for our profit, that we may be protectors of His holiness.”

Yes, you see, in the home we learn obedience. We learn to be obedient to our earthly fathers, and that teaches us how to be obedient to our heavenly Father. It’s for our profit. It’s for our good.

1 Peter chapter 3 verses 1 through 7 is another passage that talks about bringing respect in our relationships in the home, the husband and the wife.

I remember growing up in my home, and we had some magic words that I learned as a child. They were very simple. Yes, ma’am and no, ma’am. Yes, sir and no, sir. And you know, unless they were very familiar, I was never allowed to call an adult by their first name. I always had to say Mr. or Mrs. when I addressed an adult. These kinds of teachings bring us back to what God is telling us about showing respect in the home. We need to show it to our governing authorities, we need to show it in the home, we certainly need to show it to go God and to all people; but we also need to bring that same kind of respect to our relationships in the church.

Look at Romans chapter 12 and verse 10. “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.”

It doesn’t matter if you’re an elder or a preacher or a deacon or a Bible class teacher or a director of some particular program. Whoever you are in the church, we need to honor one another. We need to show respect to one another, treat each other like we want to be treated.

In 1 Timothy the 5th chapter and verses 1 through 3, the apostle Paul talked about some of the different relationships we have in the church. Being a diverse body, we have those of different ages, of different backgrounds, and yet we need to respect one another like we would different family members in our physical family.

In fact, he uses that comparison in speaking of these relationships in 1 Timothy 5. Listen to what he says. “Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father; younger men as brothers; older women as mothers; younger women as sisters, with all purity.”

You see, in the church we need to show respect for one another; the older as fathers, as mothers, the younger as brothers, as sisters. Treat them with the same respect that we would treat one another in our physical families, so we ought to do so even more really in our spiritual family.

Hebrews chapter 13 and verse 7 and verse 17 reminds us to respect those who are over us in the Lord.

The same in 1 Peter chapter 5 and verse 5, how the younger are to show respect for the elder. And so God expects us to show respect for him and for all people. But let me ask this.

Why are all people to be respected?

We look at some, we say, why should we show them any respect at all?

Well, first of all, because we’re all God’s creation. You know Genesis chapter 1 verse 26 and 27, where Moses describes how that God created this universe,” and last of all how he made man, both male and female in his own image.”

Yes, God made us in his very image. We are spiritual creatures made after the image of God, who himself is a spirit. And because we’re God’s creation, we ought to respect one another.

Look how the psalmist puts it in Psalm chapter 8 verse 4 and verse 5. “What is man, that You are mindful of him, and the son of man, that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor.”

We might wonder why God would consider us at all, have anything to do with us mere creatures upon this earth. And yet we see that God is mindful of us, that he came to visit us in the form of his son, Jesus Christ, and that when he made us, he made us just a little lower than the angels. He crowned us with glory and with honor. We’re to be respected, and we’re to respect all others because we’re made by God, we’re part of his creation. I love how the Psalmist puts it in Psalm 139 when he describes how that God works in the womb to form and to shape and to make each one of us. Here David is describing this in regards to himself and the great concern with which God formed and made him in his mother’s womb.

In Psalm 139 verse 12 the Bible says, “indeed the darkness shall not hide from You; but the night shines as the day, and the darkness and the light are both alike to you. For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed, and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me when as yet there were none of them.”

Yes, before David was ever born, God was involved in his life. In fact, God knew all about David before he was ever born. Every day that he would live in the future, God already had an idea. He knew everything about them. In fact, David goes on to say, How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God, how great is the sum of them. If I should count them, they should be more in number than the sand. When I wake, I’m still with You. In other words, God, all of these thoughts that you had towards me even before I was ever born, it helps us to see the significance and the importance of every one of God’s creatures, especially those of us who are made in the image of God. You see, we are to respect one another because we’re God’s creation, but we’re also to respect one another because we’re all loved by God.

John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.”

In Romans chapter 5 and verse 6 we learn that Christ died for the ungodly, and in verse 8 that “God demonstrated His love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

And in 1 John chapter 2, verses 1 and 2, how that “he’s the propitiation, the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for our sins only, but for the sins of the whole world.”

Yes, you see, God loves all. He loved us first according to 1 John chapter 4 and verse 19. And that’s why we ought to love him. And that’s also why we ought to love one another, because we’re God’s creation, loved by God, and because we are all to love others as he loved us.

In John 13 verse 34 and 35 Jesus said,” A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. And by this shall all men know that you are My disciples, because you have love one for another.”

Love for others ought to be the mark of every Christian. It’s how the world can identify us as God’s people.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:5 that “love does not behave rudely. No, love is not disrespectful; love shows respect for all.”

Let me consider with you this morning a little bit about how we may show respect. We understand it’s important to God, and we understand why we ought to respect one another, but how is it that we may show respect for one another?

Well, one thing is when we speak. When we speak, we need to be tactful and not just truthful.

Look at Proverbs chapter 15 and verse 4. The Bible says, “a wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.”

You notice here he talks about a wholesome tongue, literally a tongue of healing. Our words ought to bring healing to people. In Ephesians 4 and verse 15 we find the verse from which we have named this television program, Speaking the truth in love.

And Ephesians chapter 4 verse 29 tells us, “Let no corrupt speech come out of your mouth, but that which is good for edifying, or for building up, as the need may be, that you may give grace to those who hear.”

I’m afraid that many people today just don’t understand this. They often confuse rudeness with frankness. They say, Oh, I just tell it like it is, and I let the chips fall where they may. Well, that’s not being frank. That’s being mean and disrespectful to people. Listen, tact is the ability to make a point without making an enemy. Tact is when you tell someone to go jump off a cliff in a way that makes them look forward to the journey. Tact is treating everybody as if they knew what they were talking about. Tact is the art of telling someone he’s open minded when he’s really just got a hole in his head. You see, the way we say something will go a long way in determining how well it’s going to be received. But secondly, when we are served, be understanding, not demanding.

Luke chapter 6, verse 31. Notice what the Bible says here. “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.”

Sadly, I have seen Christians in retail services like restaurants and things like that treat their waiter or waitress so rudely. And I know sometimes when we’re in the line at the grocery store, we become impatient, we become disrespectful. When we’re being served and when we’re being waited on by others, when we’re out here, whether it’s in the home or whether it’s in the community, let us learn to be respectful to those who are waiting upon us, who are serving us, and not so demanding. Let us practice patience and understanding and forgiveness and show respect to all.

Here’s a third thing that we need to consider: When we disagree. When we disagree, be gentle, not judgmental.

Romans chapter 14 and verse 12, the apostle Paul was dealing with a number of disputes in the body of Christ here in Rome. And he said, “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.”

God is our judge, and so we need to leave the judging to God. In Galatians chapter 6, however, he tells us how to help one another when we get into sin.

Galatians chapter 6, verse 1 and verse 2. “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself, lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Remember, telling the truth is not being judgmental.”

We need to tell the truth. But if I use the truth to attack and to beat people down, then I’m wrong. We can be right on an issue, but if we’re rude about it, we’re wrong.

Fourthly, when we share our faith, be respected, not rejected. I love how the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 9 verses 19 through 22 was always careful to consider others. He recognized that if he was going to be effective as a gospel preacher that he would have to consider these folks and where they were coming from and try to relate with them if at all possible.

He says here, “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant of all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law, and not being without law toward God, but under the law toward Christ, that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”

Paul was not as concerned about winning an argument as he was about winning a soul; and so he wanted to show respect to all.

Colossians chapter 4 verse 5 and verse 6 reminds us to walk in wisdom towards those on the outside, redeeming the time. “And let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how to answer each one.”

You see, those on the outside must be respected when we try to bring to them the gospel. Let’s be careful how we say what we say, to say it with meekness and fear, with gentleness and respect, according to 1 Peter 3 and verse 15. We cannot argue people into heaven. But finally, when people are rude, respond politely.

Proverbs chapter 15 and verse 1, notice what the Bible says here about those who might stir up strife. Here he says,”A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Don’t retaliate when people are rude to you and be rude back. No, it only makes things worse. Let’s practice forgiveness and understanding, and let’s put away bitterness and hatred and malice that shouldn’t be a part of our lives, as Paul explains in Ephesians 4:31-32. There’s no excuse for rude and disrespectful behavior in the life of a Christian. We have a responsibility to respect Christ in this world. And it’s Christ that we offer to you today, whoever you are. We hope that you’ll find salvation through him, that you’ll let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards heaven today.

SINGING>> Each day I’ll do a golden deed
by helping those who are in need.
My life on earth is but a span,
and so I’ll do the best I can.
Life’s evening sun is sinking low.
A few more days, and I must go
to meet the deeds that I have done,
where there will be no setting sun.
To be a child of God each day,
my light must shine along the way.
I’ll sing his praise while ages roll,
and try to help some troubled soul.
Life’s evening sun is sinking low.
A few more days, and I must go
to meet the deeds that I have done,
where there will be no setting sun.
While going down life’s weary road,
I’ll try to lift some traveler’s load.
I’ll try to turn the night to day,
make flowers bloom along the way.
Life’s evening sun is sinking low.
A few more days, and I must go
to meet the deeds that I have done,
where there will be no setting sun.

SINGING>> All hail the power of Jesus’ name,
let angels prostrate fall.
Bring forth the royal diadem,
and crown him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem,
and crown him Lord of all.
Oh, that with yonder sacred throng we at his feet may fall. We’ll join the everlasting song and crown him Lord of all.
We’ll join the everlasting song and crown him Lord of all.

ROBERT >> Thanks for watching our program today. We’d love to hear from you. Let me encourage you to contact us with your questions, comments, or requests at The Truth In Love, P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv.

Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966.

And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv.

Remember, all of our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> Unto the hills around do I lift up my longing eyes.
Oh, whence for me shall my salvation come,
from whence arise?
From God the Lord doth come my certain aid,
from God the Lord whom heaven and earth hath made.
From every evil shall he keep thy soul,
from every sin.
Jehovah shall preserve thy going out,
thy coming in.
Above thee watching,
he whom we adore shall keep thee henceforth,
yea for evermore.

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