Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
1 Peter 2:17
There are a lot of people who are demanding respect these days. NFL players take a knee. People fill the streets with signs and chants. As a group, they are missing the simple fact that if you want respect, you have to give it. Only people with their opinion respect them for what they are doing. Others may be bullied into responding, but protestors seldom gain the respect of the general public. If they want respect, go down as a group and provide relief for those who have been hurt in the hurricanes or help the children in the schools. The national news might not even notice what you do, but the people who are affected will respect you for your actions.
Peter is writing to people who are being persecuted for their faith. Some are losing jobs and many are losing their lives. It would have been natural for them to complain or protest what was happening. What Peter wants is for them to show respect. Show respect to the Roman government even though they are killing many of you. Show respect to those in your community who don’t understand the gospel message. Show respect if you are a slave or servant to your master even if they are harsh. Most of all, show respect for other believers because they are your brothers in Christ.
Why show such respect? The answer is simple. You represent Christ. An angry protester makes every one of their race or creed look bad. A disrespectful Christian makes God and other Christians look bad as well. We want to bring them closer to the Lord and not drive them away from Him. We want people to see the love and mercy of the cross not feel that we want to nail them to a cross. Our God respects you and I even though we are sinners who can never keep His law perfectly. We must respect others even if they don’t respect us because the only way we will gain respect for God and for ourselves is for us to be people of love and not angry protests.