Bible Reading: 1 Peter 2:12-17
Show respect for everyone. Love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God. Show respect for the king. 1 Peter 2:17
CAN YOU SNAP your ringers? Can you wiggle your ears (without using your hands, of course)? Can you touch your nose with your tongue?
If you can do either of the last two, you’re a member of a minority. A recent survey conducted in the United States discovered that 68 percent of people could snap their fingers, but only 13 percent were able to wiggle their ears. And an even smaller group—a mere 10 percent!—could touch their noses with their tongues.
Now, imagine that all those people who could snap their fingers decided to ridicule and disrespect the other 32 percent. Or imagine that “ear wigglers” decided to treat “non-ear wigglers” like second-class citizens. Or imagine that those who could touch their noses with their tongues felt that they could never respect people who couldn’t touch their noses with their tongues.
That would be pretty weird, wouldn’t it?
But when you think about it, it’s not so different from people who disrespect other people because they’re a different color. It’s not so different from men who don’t respect women (or vice versa). It’s not so different from people who look down on old people (or kids).
You see, God’s Word says, “Show proper respect to everyone” (1 Peter 2:17, NIV). That means that even people who are different from you deserve your respect, whether they’re black or white, Asian or Hispanic, male or female, young or old, rich or poor, finger snappers or ear wigglers.
After all, God doesn’t say, “Show proper respect to people who are like you.” He says, “Show proper respect to everyone”–-even to people who can’t touch their noses with their tongues.
REFLECT: Today’s Bible reading says to fear or respect (or accept) several different kinds of people. Can you find at least four? Has anyone ever shown disrespect for you because of your skin color, sex, or age? How about for some other reason? How did it feel? Have you ever shown disrespect to someone for any of those reasons?
ACT: Take your own poll to see how many of your friends can snap their fingers, wiggle their ears, and touch their noses with their tongues. Compare your findings with the results (68 percent, 13 percent, 10 percent) mentioned above.
PRAY: “God, sometimes I do only show proper respect to people who are like me. Please help me to show proper respect to everyone, just like you command me to do.”