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March 2, 2023

Honor Everyone (Part 2)

Last week I talked about Peter’s two-word command to “honor everyone” (1 Peter 2:17).  I also shared just how challenging it has been for me to actually live these two words out.  It’s easy to honor those I deem worthy of honor.  But what about everyone else?

Peter doesn’t qualify his command.  He says to honor everyone.

As one brother shared in response to my first post, “This is absolutely harder for me to do than almost anything else.”

I agree.

Remember, honoring someone means thinking more highly of him/her than you think of yourself.  Paul puts it this way in Philippians 2:3: Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

If you struggle with this, stop now, and examine your heart.  What makes it so challenging for you?  What stands in your way?

And Peter continues to challenge us with the rest of 1 Peter 2:17: Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

Did you catch that last part?  We are called to honor the emperor.

I’m imagining the early church reacting to this verse for the first time.

Honor everyone. “Yes, we’ll do it!”

Love the brotherhood.  “Yes, we love our Christian brothers!”

Fear God. “Yes, of course!”

Honor the emperor. “What?!?  Are you out of your mind?  Don’t you know who the emperor is?!?”

The emperor was Nero, one of the most evil and despicable men to ever rule.  And yes, Peter knew who the emperor was when he wrote this.  He would even die under his rule.

So, who is our emperor?  Anyone placed in authority over us.  See Romans 13:1-7.  [You can listen/watch Pastor Adam’s sermon on Romans 13:1-7 by clicking HERE.]

It doesn’t matter if you are a republican, democrat, independent or libertarian.  It doesn’t matter if you vote or throw that envelope in the trash. We are commanded to show the men and women in authority honor.

I’m sure as you read this, particular political leaders are coming to mind.

It’s heart check time.  How well did/do you honor them?

If you struggle with this, what does it reveal about your ego?  Your heart?  Your priorities?

We’ll look at this again next week, and I’ll offer some perspective we must have if we are going to honor Peter’s command to honor everyone, even the emperor.


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