RESPECT: HOW AND WHY
- Key Verse
- Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8)
- READ THE CHAPTER
Loving others is respecting others, and God calls us to respect the authorities in our lives by doing what they ask willingly, realizing God put them in our lives for a reason.
ReflectionsHow often do we disrespect people? Not just authorities, our coaches, teachers, or bosses, but everyone else, too? Romans 13:10 (NLT) says, "Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God's law." This verse reminds us to respect everyone.
"Respect" can mean different things to people with different points of view. Some people may think respecting people is doing what they ask or not insulting them to their face. The Bible tells us respect is willingly doing what someone asks (if they are in authority) or not gossiping about someone if you think they are doing something wrong. Proverbs 26:20 (NLT) says, "Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops." This means if you stop gossiping and go talk to the person you are unhappy with, you will get a much better result than if you never discuss the reasons why you are unhappy. If you leave it to gossip or other means, then you will end up talking behind each other's back, and it will just make the situation worse.
If people are in a position of authority, however, then we have no right to contradict them unless what they are telling us to do violates God's instructions for us. God has put them in that position over our lives to do what is best for us. Romans 13:1 says, "Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God." If God has put someone in a place of authority, and you disrespect that person, then you are disrespecting God's decision. That said, we still must follow God's commandments if the one in authority over us requires us to do something that violates God's commands.
Respecting people is loving them. As the key verse says, love is the law. Love summarizes the Lord's commandments, with love for the Lord, your authorities, your peers, and your enemies. Because love is God's law, it is important that we love and respect everyone.
Discussion Questions1. Have you been disrespecting someone lately?
2. Have you not acted lovingly to someone lately?
3. What can you change so you can start respecting and loving that person?
WEEKLY FAMILY ACTIVITY
Romans 13-1 Corinthians 1 (June 11-15)
Read Romans 13:8-10.
• What is a debt?
• What does verse 8 say we should do with our debts?
• Why do you think we have a debt to love others?
• Who paid our debt by dying on the cross?
We can show how thankful we are for what Jesus has done for us by following His command to love our neighbors.
• Who is your neighbor (not just your "neighbors" who live near you)?
• What does it mean to "love your neighbor as yourself?"
Activity: Make a list of the ways that you take care of yourself. Think about everything from eating healthy foods, to wanting to be listened to, to memorizing Scripture to combat the enemy. Be exhaustive. Pick five of your "neighbors" and choose something for each of them from your list of how you love yourself and love them specifically in that way this week.